Shakespeare Reading Group Midsummer Night's Dream Logo

Shakespeare Reading Group: A Midsummer Night's Dream

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:15pm
  • Conference Room - Administration Wing
Join this reading and discussion of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for six consecutive Wednesdays

Join this reading and discussion of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream for six consecutive Wednesdays, January 10-February 14, 2018.


Led by veteran English teacher Sally Frostic, this six-week reading group is for both first-time and experienced Shakespeare readers. The group meets from 6-7:17 p.m. in the Library Conference Room. It is for people might like to do some reading aloud, acting or presenting, as well as people who might like to read and listen only. The overall emphasis is on enjoyment of A Midsummer Night's Dream. The group will discuss, read brief excerpts together and learn about the playwright and his world. The workshop is designed to stimulate enjoyment and conversation, and be attuned to group interests and needs, with interactive participation by everyone.

About A Midsummer Night's Dream
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, residents of Athens mix with fairies from a local forest, with comic results. In the city, Theseus, Duke of Athens, is to marry Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons. Bottom the weaver and his friends rehearse in the woods a play they hope to stage for the wedding celebrations.

Four young Athenians are in a romantic tangle. Lysander and Demetrius love Hermia; she loves Lysander and her friend Helena loves Demetrius. Hermia’s father, Egeus, commands Hermia to marry Demetrius, and Theseus supports the father’s right. All four young Athenians end up in the woods, where Robin Goodfellow, who serves the fairy king Oberon, puts flower juice on the eyes of Lysander, and then Demetrius, unintentionally causing both to love Helena. Oberon, who is quarreling with his wife, Titania, uses the flower juice on her eyes. She falls in love with Bottom, who now, thanks to  Robin Goodfellow, wears an ass's head.

As the lovers sleep, Robin Goodfellow restores Lysander's love for Hermia, so that now each young woman is matched with the man she loves. Oberon disenchants Titania and removes Bottom’s ass’s head. The two young couples join the royal couple in getting married, and Bottom rejoins his friends to perform the play.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
was first printed in 1600 as a quarto. In 1619, a new quarto of the play was published based on Q1 but with some additional stage directions and some small corretions to the text. That text, in turn, was the basis for the 1623 First Folio with, again, some minor changes. Most modern editions, like the Folger edition that this workshop will use at the library, are based on the Q1 text.
Courtesy of Folger Shakespeare Library

Sally Frostic

About Sally Frostic
Sally taught honors English at Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park, Illinois, for 25 years. She has an M.A. in Literature and Theology from the University of Chicago. Her special interests include Shakespeare, Chaucer, Dante and great contemporary writers who explore universal themes. She and her husband divide their time between Chicago and Steamboat Springs.

Want to join the A Midsummer Night's Dream reading group?
The workshop is limited to 25 participants!

Participants are asked to commit to the reading and attend most of the sessions. To sign up, you must contact Adult Programs Coordinator Jennie Lay by email or by calling 879-0240x317. Once your space is confirmed, further information will follow.

The Library will provide copies of A Midsummer Night's Dream to loan to all participants.