From a Cave in the Woods...


Pibgorn - A Pibsummer Night's Dream

2-13-2006 through 3-19-2007


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Pibgorn's seventh adventure is a graphic adaptation of Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream, and possibly the most ambitious work McEldowney has undertaken to date.  Running thirteen months online, it is available in book form from  pibpress@verizon.net.  Let them know your zip code (if you have one) or your location (if you don't), and mention how many copies you'd like, if you want to pay by check or by credit card via PayPal, and if you want it shipped priority or media mail. They will be back in touch with you probably within the day to give you all the particulars.

 

From February 2006 through March 2007, the story arc was an adaptation of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, set during the 1920s or 1930s in metropolitan Athens City. Many characters from 9 Chickweed Lane appeared playing parts in the adaptation.
 

Cast:

Robin Goodfellow -- Pibgorn

Titania -- Drusilla

Oberon -- Geoff
Broadway producer Theseus -- Thorax

Hippolyta -- Juliette Burber (barely-recognizable with a curly hairdo)

Egea -- Gran Burber (Egea is a female version of Egeus, which is an increasingly common practice by modern productions of this play)

Hermia -- Isabel Florin

Helena -- Edda Burber

Lysander -- Seth Appleby, Edda's roommate

Demetrius -- Burkhardt Kriegl, Edda's one-time nemesis

Stage manager Peter Quince -- Amos van Hoesen

Nicola Bottom -- Oognat

 

Director -- Brooke McEldowney

 

The 'mechanicals' who will be putting on a show have been replaced by an all-female chorus. Also, the Indian boy who is the subject of the dispute between Oberon and Titania is a portrayed by an entirely original character for this storyline, and is a strapping young man with whom Titania is having an affair.

Regardless of what manner of being their characters are in this play -- human or supernatural being -- all the characters remain what they are in their usual stories. For example, Edda, a regular human being, plays the character Helena, also a regular human being. On the other hand, Oberon, Titania, and Robin -- while still referred to as "fay" or "fair folk" -- are instead respectively a human, a demon, and one true fairy, as Geoff, Drusilla, and Pibgorn are. Oognat is the only supernatural being who plays a human in this story, although her transformed state as a donkey returns her to her normal hair fairy appearance, albeit with additional donkey ears and hooves. Despite the change in setting, this arc was almost completely loyal to Shakespeare's script. McEldowney used the original dialogue during this story, little-changed except for abridgements and slight adjustments for reasons of gender.

The characters also deliver the lines with a more modern form of delivery, with changes in emphasis and tone, and even double entendres, such as Theseus and Hippolyta's discussion of "solemnities" during their honeymoon. The only big difference is the relationships of the Fairies at the end. Here, in spite of his manipulations, Titania does not return to Oberon, and at the end is seen being escorted about town by the Indian boy, passing by a diner (a delightful adaptation of Hopper's "Nighthawks" painting) where Oberon and Robin are recuperating from the night's activities. While delivering her final soliloquy, Robin then uses the juice of the "love-in-idleness" flower on Oberon, who then proceeds to carry her off in his arms.

Following the end of the "play", the strip ran single-panel "closing night cast interviews" with the cast members. It should be noted that only a handful of the Chickweed "actors" are involved in theater in their own strip, and even the exceptions (Edda, Seth, etc.) are ballet dancers and musicians, not actors. This entire sequence is a piece of metafiction, existing outside of either comic strip's continuity.

 

 

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