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PARTIES ARE ALWAYS FUN, and what could be better than a costume party planned around the theme of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, that delightful comedy by William Shakespeare? 

 

Here is all the drama and intrigue for a stellar evening of entertainment and fun…or a retail store display theme for a collection of spectacular masks!  Shakespeare took inspiration for his play from “The Knight’s Tale” in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales,” and expressed as its main statement that LOVE TRIUMPHS ALL.

   –But what mischief and madness goes on until we get to that conclusion!  

 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream involves two couples whose romantic intrigues are complicated, confused, and thoroughly hilarious. Their volatile experiences take place in Athens, Greece, in the middle of a forest, at night.  And, as the Bard so aptly puts it:

 

                             “The cause of true love never did run smooth.”   

 

Oh, that is an understatement for all times, as we discover with these star-crossed lovers.

 

                                       Wild, Annual Festival

 

HOW SHAKESPEARE CAME TO THE IDEA of setting his play in the middle of a forest in the middle of the night in the middle of the summer is not too difficult to figure out, when you realize that, in ancient England, it was believed that on a Midsummer Night, the fairies and witches hold their wild, annual festival. 

   —And, yes…the play is all about fairies, romping, playing, dancing, loving and being generally naughty and charming in the middle of their forest kingdom on a warm summer’s evening.

 

The characters in the play are nothing short of fantastic, and offer wonderful opportunity for party guests —  choosing who they want to be, based on the play — to dress up in spectacular wonder.  Not the least of their outfitting just has to involve masks.

 

JUST LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN WILD WITH THESE MASKS!  THEY MAY BE VENETIAN, BUT THEY FIT THE FESTIVITIES OF ATHENIAN FAIRIES TO A “T”.

 

  • Butterfly mask is a creation of pure imaginative design.  This beautiful style in butterfly shape is done in molded acrylic and blends with the forest theme perfectly!

 

 

 

  • White Venetian Mask, with gold or silver highlight.  Ahhh, with brilliant white ostrich plumes rising 10 inches above the eye mask, this is an elegant mask for the Queen of the Fairies!.

 

                                                   Synopsis      

 

FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T too familiar with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, you might offer a sheet with the play’s synopsis on it, included in your invitations. No, you don’t have to write it yourself; you can pick it up on the Internet. 

 

Or, you might make this party an intellectual pastime, and have a scene or two from the play enacted for your guests’ entertainment.  If the party is for youngsters, well…this is an ideal way to turn an educational pursuit into real fun!  Let them reinvent the play in their own modern terms.

 

WHATEVER YOU DO, A Midsummer Night’s Dream offers great party fare.  It is also made up of a bevy of fantastic characters, one more intriguing than the other.  There is, to start with, a full band of fairies.  Then, there is Theseus, the Duke of Athens, and Hippolyta, legendary queen of the Amazons, and Theseus’ fiancee. And, let us not forget Oberon, King of the fairies, and his Queen, Titania. So…not only do we have a forest, we also have royal courts!

 

                                       What Roles They Play!

 

THE MOON-STRUCK LOVERS include Hermia and Lysander, and Helena and Demetrius, whose escapades are confused and complicated, but who eventually come around to a happy ending.  They are strange and crazy and mixed up – but, what roles they play!

 

And then, there is perhaps the most famous character of all, Puck, the court jester.  Puck is a mischievous fairy, and he delights in planning pranks on humans.  And ahhh, what pranks he pulls….

 

HERE IS A GREAT MASK FOR THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO PLAY THE PART OF PUCK, SURELY THE MAIN CHARACTER FROM THE PLAY:

 

 

AND, GIVING AN ARTS AND CRAFTS DIMENSION TO THE DRESS-UP FARE, HOW ABOUT THESE GREAT MASKS:

 

  • Comedy or Tragedy, in classic Greek design.  These unpainted masks are for those who want to create their own look.  They add a delightful extra to the party planning!  Great for any one from the fairy band!

                                                     

                                                          Finale

                                                             

So clap your hands.  Enter the forest.  Let your friends and clients, foes and competitors all dress up in masked disguise lest we discover too soon who they might be.  Before we discover too soon what Shakespeare saw in the most famous quote from this engaging play:                      

 

                                       Lord, what fools these mortals be!

 

       — But does it matter?  The play’s the thing!

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009


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