A Midsummer 2020 Night’s Dream
LAURA HOLMAN

Characters

PUCK
FAIRY
HELENA
LYSANDER
HERMIA


West Village Apartment

Lights up on the lobby of an apartment building in the West Village.

An evening in July. PUCK sits at a concierge desk, wearing a facemask. The elevator door opens and FAIRY walks towards him, also masked, carrying a reusable grocery bag.

PUCK

How now, good spirit! Whither wander you?

FAIRY

From sheet, from quilt; from pillow, from bed,
Through endless attempting a sourdough bread,
To thousand-piece puzzle, to meeting on Zoom,
On cleaning each inch of my tiny bathroom.
I must go seek toilet roll, hand soap, and yeast,
Or get the hell out of this building, at least.
Farewell, dear Puck; and with haste I’ll be gone;
For Helena comes now, without a mask on.

Exit FAIRY, enter HELENA looking at her phone screen.

HELENA

How happy some lifestyle bloggers can be!
On TikTok I surely am followed as she.
I move like Shakira at the halftime show,
But what of that? Demetrius thinks it not so.
I, after three weeks, that fuckboy did ghost.
And that day on Hermia’s Instagram post,
Demetrius left hearts and emojis of fire,
When I was the littest in those three weeks prior.
And even though she says Lysander is bae,
Demetrius stans for her harder each day.

HELENA looks up and walks towards the concierge desk and holds out her phone.

Puck, what say you; Should I filter or no?
I’m like ‘hashtag natural!’ but still want that glow.

PUCK

From subway to sidewalk a score of germs teemed,
But hither I sit, for essential I’m deemed.
O Helena, do heed our distance with care.
I politely request that you filter elsewhere.

HELENA goes back to looking at her phone screen. The elevator door opens and HERMIA and LYSANDER enter the lobby, unmasked.

LYSANDER

Hermia, hie, I do pray thee take flight
Before the store closes its doors for the night.
I told you to hurry, I did so beseech,
I hope they are still fully stocked up on bleach.

HERMIA

Anon, good Lysander, I’m rushing in heels.
And virtual therapy gave me the feels.
My shrink doth protest that I’m Mindful ‘Ay Eff,’
As quarantine model, as life coach, as chef.

LYSANDER

Dost not your therapist know what is up—
There’s chardonnay hidden in your coffee cup?
You shell out one hundred and eighty a week
For one random stranger to keep you on fleek.

HERMIA

The flooding of sponsorship deals does draw nigh.
The one hundred eighty is worth it, boy bye.
Now ere the mood light of evening is gone,
To show that we’re goals, a quick selfie anon.

They pose.

LYSANDER

Hast thou took care that the angle is right?
A few selfies more and then let us alight.
Anon on and on, pray your post keepest brief.
We must procure bleach per Commander in Chief.

HERMIA

Is it so told; does it come from on high?
For men of great power wouldst ne’er tell a lie.
Mine eyes the press briefing did not see; alack!
That bespectacled doctor’s an absolute snack.

LYSANDER

I tire of hearing your lustings towards him.
And others that fill your DMs to the brim.
Your inbox obsession, the shit that it stirs!
Here’s Helena now, should I slide into hers?

HERMIA

Don’t say so, Lysander, oh say it not so.
Would that she want you, like, eight years ago.
Do what you will, though her bones surely creak.
The wear of her years dost my tongue truly speak.

HELENA

I seek not Lysander but let it be said
That more than one time I have left him on read.
Fie, puppet, fie, truest form of Gen-Z.
When you’re out of the nursery, pray then talk to me.

HERMIA

What, though, is wrong with a fewer seen day?
Doth not Demetrius seek me that way?
Hark, I am little but fierce to be sure.
Fie to you, Boomer, and fie to you more.

HELENA

Oh spite and oh hell and oh cruel enterprise!
Your tongue I do loathe and your youth I despise.
When that I was but of your years the same,
Late twenty-somethings were winning the game.
Prithee don’t at me, as I know you do,
Must you be ageist in mocking me too?
If you were friend, as friend you are in show,
You would not mock a millennial so.

A short, double-pulsed buzz sounds. LYSANDER pulls out his cellphone and reads the screen.

HERMIA

A text for Lysander, but who is it from?
Tell me in good faith; pray whence did it come?
I bet it’s Hippolyta shooting her shot.
For marry, her Theseus interests her not.

HELENA

Hast thou some gossip, pray do spill the tea!
He hasn’t of late shown up on her story!
What news of the pair in their joint quarantine?
A living arrangement with rifts unforeseen?

LYSANDER

Helena, Hermia, breath do not waste.
Demetrius texted, let’s go now with haste.
He didst go rallying with each Karen,
Heroically mansplained his way to a win.
He yelled our demands and he held up his sign,
And now you can spin, get your nails done, and dine.
Make merry in barbershops, prosper in bars,
Wave so victorious our stripes and our stars.

HERMIA

Good news to mine ears; ay, this country is free;
These dull roots and split ends have been woe to me.
Ho bottomless brunches, hie vodka and clubs,
Hark spa pedicures with the sea salty scrubs.

HELENA

Lo, I am shooketh, I’m actually dead.
It’s time to get balayage back on this head.
Demetrius, love, I do come thy way swift.
Hasten, friends, hasten; I didst now call a Lyft.

HELENA, HERMIA, and LYSANDER exit.

The lobby is empty except for PUCK. He sits silently. After a few moments, the sound of pots and pans gradually crescendos from the outside. Two women wearing scrubs and face masks enter the lobby, nod towards PUCK, and disappear into the elevator.

PUCK breaks the fourth wall and speaks.

PUCK

If these visions did offend,
Know thou canst rewrite the end.
Many have but slumbered here,
Till the springtime of this year.

And this weak and idle theme,
Might us summon from a dream.
Mortals who when pricked will bleed,
Voices who must take the lead.

He stands.

Give me your hands now, if they be clean,
Let us all meet when we enter phase green.
I hope not sweet slumber, nor wish a good night,
But bid you awaken to midsummer light.

He walks outside.

 

End of play.

 





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