Joe Calarco

Well Met By Moonlight

This title is now available worldwide. The script is available in manuscript form now, while the final Acting Edition is being prepared.


An adaptation of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

By Joe Calarco

This eight-person adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream places us at Hermia’s wedding rehearsal dinner, where she is trapped into marrying Demetrius, threatening to tear her away from her true love Lysander. When dressmaker Bottom fits her into her wedding gown, Hermia faints and awakens in a magical landscape—part frolic, part dream, part nightmare. In her Wizard of Oz-like hallucination her parents transform into Titania and Oberon and friends and lovers couple and uncouple until, at last, Hermia escapes to be with her true love.

Production Notes

Thoughtful, color-conscious, casting is expected.

CAST OF CHARACTERS (in order of appearance)

BOTTOM: 50s. Male. Hermia’s dressmaker and confidante. A simple man with a poetic mind and big dreams. His hobby, and his passion, is puppet making.

HERMIA: 20s. Female. The Bride. Beautiful. Smart. Rebellious. Born into great privilege, and while providing her comfort, it has never offered happiness. Deeply in love with Lysander.

DEMETRIUS: 20s. Male. The Groom. Born into great privilege and has never once questioned it. He was raised for a public life and is very comfortable being on display.

HERMIA’S MOTHER: 50s. Female. Mother of the bride. Regal, strong, but carries regret. Has figured out how to wield power in a male driven world. She is Titania in her daughter’s dream.

HERMIA’S FATHER: 50s. Male. Father of the bride. Master of the world he lives in and has no intention of ever being anything else. He is Oberon in his daughter’s dream.

HELENA: 20s. Female. The maid of honor and childhood friend of Hermia. She could have anything she wanted but listens to too many voices, including her own, that make her belief in that idea impossible.

LYSANDER: 20s. Nonbinary. They work as a day laborer on Hermia’s family estate. Smart. Resourceful. Romantic. Loyal. Deeply in love with Hermia.

PHILOSTRATE: 20s. Male. A footman on Hermia’s family estate. Has little to no power in this world but understands how to get it when needed and enjoys wielding it when possible. He is Puck in Hermia’s dream.

THE DUKE: A recorded voice over. Cis-male. Powerful. Commanding.


Joe Calarco

Joe Calarco is a multi-award-winning director and playwright. He has served as Director of New Works at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia, and as Resident Playwright at Expanded Arts, Inc. He was a Joseph Papp Artist in Residence at Second Stage, is one of New York Theatre Workshop’s “usual suspects,” is a Drama League directing fellow, is an Associate Artist at Barrington Stage Company, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild. Joe’s current works include I Am Rafiq (w/ collaborators Mohamad Alrefai and Kholoud Sawaf), The Circus in Winter (book writer w/ composer/lyricist Ben Clark), A Rhythmic Me (stage musical and screenplay, w/ collaborators Jared Grimes and Mark Meadows), and Spring Break (second in Joe’s series of plays for teens which follows the same 19 students through a year of their lives which starts with the currently published Winter Break). Published Works: Shakespeare’s R&J (Broadway Licensing/Dramatists Play Service - Lucille Lortel Award winner, produced in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Belgium, Israel, Brazil, Peru, China, South Korea), Walter Cronkite is Dead (Broadway Licensing/Dramatists Play Service, Best Stage Monologues of 2013), In the Absence of Spring (Broadway Licensing/Playscripts - inaugural production of Second Stage’s New Plays Uptown series, Best Stage Scenes of 2004), two collections of plays for teens Signature in the Schools Volumes 1 & 2 (Concord Theatricals/Samuel French - include plays My Vacation in Paris, Salat, Civil Wars, Aftershock, Shakespeare, Will, Image is Everything, Revolution, Hero Worship, Veni Vidi Vici), plays for teens Winter Break and One Acts 17 and 18 (Broadway Licensing/Dramatists Play Service), short plays Just A Little Sniffle and Parting Gifts. Produced Work: A Measure of Cruelty (Mosaic Theater - Carbonell Award “Best New Work nominee, Best Men’s Monologues of 2013), Separate Rooms (4615 Theater, Best Women’s Monologues of 2020), his adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare Theater Company), The Mysteries of Harris Burdick (book writer w/ with comp. Chris Miller & lyr. Nathan Tysen - Mercury Musical Developments in London...[FULL BIO]