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This page helps you become a fluent reader. Students can easily check their reading accuracy, speed and expression by reading "A Midsummers Night Dream" by William Shakespeare Adapted by Jill Mountain. The Lumos Reading Fluency analyzer automatically analyzes student read audio and provides insightful reports to help students become fluent readers. Try it now!

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    "A Midsummers Night Dream" by William Shakespeare Adapted by Jill Mountain

       Act I, Scene 2
       A group of working men are putting together a play to perform for the Duke and
       Duchess of Athens on the night of their wedding. This is their first meeting, and
       they are discussing the play and assigning roles.
       
       Characters:
       Peter: A carpenter, the leader of the group of players
       Nick: A weaver
       Frank: A handyman
       Rob: A tailor
       Tom: A metal-worker
       Steve: A construction worker
       
       1) Peter: When I call your name, say, "Here!" and I will tell you what part you'll play.
       I have here the list with all of your names on it. Of all the men in Athens, you all
       are the best...the most qualified...the only ones who volunteered to put on this
       play.
       Nick: First, please...what is the play about?
       Peter: Oh, it's a fine play, Nick. It's probably the best play ever written. It is the
       most lamentable, or regrettable comedy of the cruel death of Pyramus and Thisbe.
       Rob: You've seen the play, Nick?
       Peter: I just wrote it last night!
       
       2) Nick: One of the finest plays. I assure you, gentlemen. Peter, call the roll and
       assign the roles! Gentlemen - spread out!
       Peter: Fine, fine. Nick! Nick? Are you here, Nick?
       Nick: Here, Peter! Tell me, what role will I play?
       Peter: You, Nick, will play Pyramus.
       Nick: Wonderful! Oh what luck! Pyramus! Indeed! I shall play Pyramus! Peter, is
       Pyramus a romantic character, or is he a villain?
       Peter: Oh, he's the most romantic character, and he's willing to give up anything
       for the woman he loves. He will literally give his life for love.
       Nick: If I play the part well enough, which I will, the audience will be in tears!
       They'll be crying like babies at how romantic I am. But the thing is, Peter, I'm really
       much better suited to play a villain - a real tyrant.
       Peter: Frank?
       Nick:[Interrupts Peter] A tyrant - really a villain. One of the great villains. [Begins
       acting - very dramatic] From the tops of the mountains! From the top...to the
       crushing rocks below...below...below [voice fades]. I will find them! I will
       find them! And I will...
       Peter: Frank?
       
       3) Frank: Here, Peter. What role will I play?
       Peter: You, Frank, will play Thisbe.
       Frank: Thisbe? Who is Thisbe? A brave knight?
       Peter: No.
       Frank: A wandering hero? I could easily play the young hero.
       Peter: No. Thisbe is not a hero.
       Frank: A great adventurer, then? An explorer who goes into uncharted waters and
       saves a damsel in distress?
       
       4) Peter: No. Thisbe is the girl Pyramus is in love with.
       Frank: A girl? A girl! No...no...no... I can't play a girl! Look! I'm growing a beard.
       Peter: [Examines Frank's chin] No, I don't see it. You will play Thisbe.
       Nick: Wait! I can wear a mask and I can play Thisbe too! Listen [speaks in a high
       voice] Oh Pyramus! Oh Pyramus! I love you so much, Pyramus!
       Frank: That's a great idea! Let Nick play a girl.
       Peter: No! Frank, you will play Thisbe and Nick, you will play Pyramus. Let me
       continue. Rob?
       
       5) Rob: Here, Peter!
       Peter: Rob, you will play Thisbe's mother.
       Nick: Thisbe's mother is not very pretty.
       Peter: Tom?
       Tom: Here, Peter!
       Peter: You'll play Pyramus's father. I'll play Thisbe's father, and Steve, you'll play
       the lion.
       Steve: Do you have the lion's part written? Can I have it? I know it will take me a
       long time to learn it.
       
       6) Peter: There is no script for the lion, Steve. You will perform it extemporaneously.
       Steve: I'll do what?
       Peter: Extemporaneously. You'll make it up on your own.
       Nick: Wait! Let me play the lion! I'll be the fiercest lion that ever walked on a
       stage. I'll roar and claw and growl. The audience will be in awe of my amazing
       lion performance [roars]. The Duke, himself, will stand up and say, "Let the lion
       roar again! Let him roar again!" [roar]
       Peter: No, no, Nick. You'll be too realistic. You'll be so much like a real lion that
       you'll scare the ladies in the audience and we'll all be put in prison for
       threatening members of royalty.
       
       7) Peter: Nick - the only part you may play is Pyramus. That's it. You can play one
       part - Pyramus.
       Nick: Can I at least wear a fake beard or a disguise?
       Peter. That's fine. Wear a beard. But you can only play Pyramus. Now - are we all
       set? Does everyone know their part?
       All: Yes!
       Peter: Good - let's meet tonight in the forest. I know a clearing where we can
       rehearse without anyone seeing us. Be sure you're on time!

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