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Stage Fright on a Summer Night

Stage Fright on a Summer Night

Titel: Stage Fright on a Summer Night
Autoren: Mary Pope Osborne
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silver moon overhead? Hear the owls?
Hooo-hooo.
”
    Will’s deep whisper seemed to cast a spellover Jack. He felt calmer. He could picture the silver moon. He could hear the hooting of the owls.
    â€œAre you in the forest, on a summer night?” asked Will.
    Jack nodded.
    â€œIf
you
believe that, the audience will believe it, too,” whispered Will.
    â€œWe’re on!” whispered Puck. The chubby actor ran to Jack. He grabbed his hand and pulled him along.
    Before he knew it, Jack was onstage!

Jack stood onstage in the bright sunlight. He felt three thousand pairs of eyes staring at him.
    â€œHow now, spirit!” Puck said in a loud voice. “Whither wander you?”
    Jack looked down at his scroll. He pushed his glasses into place. He opened his mouth. No sound came out.
    One of the groundlings hissed.

    â€œHow now, spirit!” Puck shouted even louder this time. “Whither wander you?”
    Jack closed his eyes. He
felt
the summer night. He took a deep breath. He cleared his throat. He looked at his speech.
    Then he began to read:
    Over hill, over dale,

Through bush, through briar,

Over park, over pale,

Through flood, through fire,

I do wander everywhere,

Swifter than the moon’s sphere;

And I serve the Fairy Queen … .
    As Jack read, the audience grew quiet. Jack forgot he was Jack. He was in the forest, in the night, talking to Puck.
    When he finished, not a single groundling hissed or threw things.
    Jack took a deep breath as Puck started his lines. Jack knew he had one more speech. His heart pounded. But it was more from excitement now than fear.
    When it was time to start his second speech, he was ready. This time, he spoke very clearly and with feeling. He tried to be as natural as possible. When he finished his speech, the audience clapped and clapped.
    Jack hardly remembered leaving the stage. Will was waiting for him.
    â€œHurrah!” said Will, slapping Jack on the back. “You were brilliant!”
    Jack blushed as he gave Will his scroll back. He couldn’t believe he’d just performed,
acted,
in front of all those people! And he’d actually had fun—just like Annie had said.
    Jack waited in the shadows for Annie todo her part. He watched her go onstage with the fairy queen and the other fairies.
    When the queen asked the fairies to sing her to sleep, Annie stepped forward. Reading from her scroll, she sang out clearly—and with
lots
of feeling:
    You spotted snakes, with double tongue,

Thorny hedgehogs, be not seen;
    Annie waved her hand as if shooing away the snakes and hedgehogs.
    Newts and blind worms, do no wrong;

Come not near our Fairy Queen … .
    Annie shook her finger at the newts and blind worms. The audience howled with laughter.
    Annie kept singing. She made funny movements and silly faces to go with the words. She even added a little dance to her song.

    By the time she finished, the audience clapped and cheered and stamped their feet.
    â€œWonderful, job, Andy!” Will said when Annie left the stage.
    â€œYou were brilliant!” Jack told her.
    â€œThanks!” said Annie. She gave her scroll back to Will. “Do I go on again?”
    â€œNot until the end, when we all bow,” said Will.
    Just then Jack heard the audience laughing again. He really wanted to see the play. So he found a shadowy spot at the back of the theater and watched from there.
    Jack couldn’t understand everything people said, but he could understand the story. It was about people in love. But none were able to marry the people they loved.
    The funniest part was about the fairy king and fairy queen. The king was mad at the queen. So he put magic juice on her eyelids to make her fall in love with the first person she saw.
    Puck worked for the king. He wanted to make the king’s trick even funnier. So he putthe head of a donkey on a funny man. When the queen woke up, she saw the donkey-man. The magic made her fall madly in love with him!
    The fairy king finally broke the spell. Puck turned the donkey-man back into a human while he slept. When the man woke up, he looked about in wonder.
    â€œI have had a most rare vision,” he said. “I have had a dream … .”
    Jack whispered the words to himself.
“I have had a most rare vision. I have had a dream.”
    Beside him, a group of actors gathered for the last scene of the play.
    â€œMy lion mask is missing!” one of

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