Every year, friends of mine throw a big bash on the weekend closest to Midsummer. This involves drink, zany costumes pulled from a big store kept especially for the occasion, lots of laughter, and of course, a reading of A Midsummer Night's Dream for which all participants are randomly assigned parts by pulling scrolls out of a hat. This is the sort of silliness that ensues:
|I drew Titania; the scroll is tucked into the top of my dress. (No pockets, you see.) Darwin's costume and attitude are inspired by Monty Python. Photo credit to JS.|
It is events like this that make me wonder why we so seldom do the things we find most enjoyable. I've taken part in a handful of dramatic readings over the years, from Midsummer to Love's Labour's Lost to The Jeweler's Shop to Matthew Lickona's Surfing with Mel, and each one has left me wanting more. Putting together a play reading is easier and less time-consuming than throwing together a musical in one's uncle's barn, but I've never moved to organize one myself. And yet, who doesn't have access to a copy of the Collected Works of Wm. Shakes.? Everyman or Our Town or Murder in the Cathedral can be found in every library in the US. It's slightly more difficult to organize a cadre of interested and able readers, but that's where the party comes in. Food to bring 'em in, and drink to keep 'em there, and by the second act everyone's brilliant.
Ah well. Whenever I host my own dramatic reading, you're all invited to come and raid the stash of 50s and 60s outfits in my attic, and if someone brings a record player we can play the stacks of wax up in the in the closets, and we'll horse trade until we're all kind of satisfied with our parts, and then we'll make the Bard proud.