Midsummer Night’s Spaghetti tells the story of two families: the Royal Pasta Family and the Royal Garden Family. King Alfredo and Queen Fettuccine of the Royal Pasta Family are celebrating twenty-five years of marriage, while King Bird and Queen Bee of the Royal Garden Family are celebrating twenty-five days of marriage. Both couples have an only daughter for which they are concerned. Princess Parmesana of the Royal Pasta Family has fallen in love with a commoner, Sausage, rather than be interested in the man her father has chosen for her, Count Meatball. Princess Butterfly of the Royal Garden Family has been falling in love with every male insect in the garden rather than deciding upon one respectable choice as her father wishes her to do. Both King Alfredo and King Bird recruit Anchovy, the play’s narrator, to work a little magic on their daughters.
King Alfredo would like to see Princess Parmesana with Count Meatball once and for all, despite the fact that it is Lady Marinara, Parmesana’s cousin, who is truly in love with the Count. King Bird would like to see Princess Butterfly fall for Toad, albeit briefly, as punishment for her fickle nature and her current infatuation with Spider. The garden soon becomes the scene for much confusion as the men, the women, the insects, and the amphibians fall in and out of naps and in and out of love. But in the end, all is made magically right by Anchovy. Princess Parmesana is paired with Sausage, Count Meatball becomes enamored with Lady Marinara, and Princess Butterfly has decided she’d just as well be on her own. The anniversary celebration for both royal couples takes place, and a short play within the play is performed by a separate group of characters: Rigatoni, Ravioli, Bear, Moonlight, and Hedge to the delight of all concerned.
A lovely garden with a mixture of plants, trees, and flowerbeds
6 Female, 6 Male, 4 Female or Male
Approximately 45 minutes
Production Notes (included with the playscript)
So it’s probably obvious that the plot of Midsummer Night’s Spaghetti is a spoof of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. This script calls for a lot of confidence on behalf of your cast members. Many of them will need to act as if they are in love—sometimes instantly with another character. This might test the pluckiness of your middle school performers, but if they love to act silly and feel comfortable with their fellow cast members, it should be a lot of fun for them. And the more lovesick they can act, the bigger laughs they are bound to get from the audience!
The narrator, Anchovy, is a large role and should be played by someone who feels comfortable addressing the audience for most of their lines. They also need to have quite a good memory for the last scene, because they’ll have to remember whose eyelids to drop the nectar on and in what order.
There is a similar dynamic going on in the Royal Pasta Family as there is in the Royal Garden Family. A royal king and queen are very much in love and dealing with a rebellious daughter. This is simple enough to establish in the first two scenes, but as more and more characters are added to the plot, the cast will have to take their time with the dialogue so that the audience can follow what’s going on.
There’s any number of creative things you can do with the stage to make it look like a garden—potted plants, fake flowers, etc. It could also be a simple curtain backdrop painted to look like a garden. Since it isn’t absolutely necessary to have anything on stage and the few props you need could fit in a paper sack, this would be an excellent show to consider traveling with!
If you plan on performing my other Shakespearean spoof, Much Ado About Soup, then you will want to hold onto your stage pieces. Anything you happen to create or purchase for one can be used in the other!
There’s a wide range of possibilities for costumes, depending on your budget. You could go the extra mile and have your performers in Shakespearean-style attire or keep it simple and have them in everyday clothing. However, you might consider using color to your advantage in clumping certain characters together. For instance, the Royal Pasta Family could all be dressed in the same color, the Royal Garden Family in another color, and the Royal Performers in yet another. Or you might want to dress couples in the same color. Princess Parmesana and Sausage could be dressed in the same color, Count Meatball and Lady Marinara in another color, King Alfredo and Queen Fettuccine in another, King Bird and Queen Bee in another, Rigatoni and Ravioli in another, and so on. I’m sure that anything you can do in respect to the costumes that will help the audience understand who belongs together will be helpful.
You could play around with a selection of savory and sweet refreshments for this particular play. You could run with an Italian theme, a garden party theme, or even a “25th Anniversary” theme for the treats. All the talk of spaghetti is going to leave people hungry, so be prepared!
Midsummer Night’s Spaghetti can be an evening of fun entertainment all on its own. But if you’re feeling ambitious, it can be transformed into a supper show as well. Think spaghetti dinner! See “Serve up a Supper with your Shakespeare” on the Fundraiser Play Ideas page for some specific suggestions.
Each playscript comes as a downloadable PDF document, and includes an extensive Production Notes section to help with all aspects of the production, as well as an invaluable Organizational Grid with each character’s costume suggestion and any props needed.
With purchase, you are granted the right to copy this script as needed for amateur performances for a period of one year from the date of purchase. More information on the Copyright page.