Surfing with the Bard Lesson Plans

A Midsummer Night's Dream Relationship Role Plays from
A Midsummer Night's Dream

Submitted by:  Amy Ulen
(adapted from a lesson by Amy Ulen and Erik Johnke)

Date:  August 1994

Objective:   To allow students to connect the lovers' relationships with their own personal experiences or that of people they know.

MaterialsA Midsummer Night's Dream text (Act I, scene 1, lines 128-251).


  • Divide students into pairs.
  • Assign the following couples to your students -- Holly & Luke, Helen & David, Holly & Helen, or Luke & David.
  • Ask couples to create a history of their specific!
    • How and when did you meet?
    • What do you like about each other?
    • What do you do together?
    • (for the romantic relationships) What's your song? Etc.
  • Set the scene by reading the following situation:

    Holly and Helen have been best friends since elementary school. They grew up in the same neighborhood, and treat each other like sisters. When Holly fell in love with Luke, Helen was a little envious of Holly's relationship, but she was also happy for her friend.

    Holly wanted Helen to be as happy as she was, so she set Helen up with Luke's friend, David. David and Helen went out for a few months, but then David broke it off. Helen was distraught. She didn't know why he would dump her; he had said that he loved her.

    This morning at school, Helen overheard one of David's friends say that David was in love with Holly.

  • Role Plays (students may remain in their original pairs or perform their scene with another classmate):
    • Scene 1 ~ Helen and Holly
      Helen confronts Holly about David.
      Holly must convince Helen that she is not interested in David.
    • Scene 2 ~ David and Helen
      Helen must convince David to stay in their relationship.
    • Scene 3 ~ Holly and Luke
      Holly asks Luke to help her convice Helen she doesn't like David.
      Luke wants to go confront David.
    • Scene 4 ~ Luke and David
      Luke confronts David about his feelings for Luke's girlfriend, Holly.
  • In groups of six, enact Act I, scene 1, lines 128-251 (three people will feed-in the scene to the three actors).
  • Questions for discussion/homework:
    • What were the similarities/differences between the role play and the scene?
    • How do the characters handle the situation?
    • How would you handle it?
    • How would Helena be different if she were alive today? Hermia? Lysander? Demetrius?
    • Journal Writing -- choose a character and write an entry in his or her journal/diary about this situation.



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