Shakespeare

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  Course of True Love

Comedy by Jennifer Stewart-Sampson

30 pages

Large flexible cast of about 25


This show spotlights some of Shakespeare’s greatest couples: Romeo & Juliet, Kate & Petruchio, Beatrice & Benedick, and more. Twists and turns abound in this story of love and whimsy, consisting entirely of Shakespeare’s actual text. The Fairies establish the world of the play. One Fairy has decided that love is foolish and “merely a madness,” but the other Fairies are determined to convince their friend otherwise. The characters display all facets of love; desperation, bliss, fear, passion and pure joy, in a collection of scenes that takes the au...

  Midsummer Night's Dream (Play)

Shakespeare by Ken Womble

50 pages

24 parts


Here is Shakespeare's classic comedy condensed without losing the passion, humor, and magic that has made the play a theater favorite. This adaptation, while remaining true to the original, is cut to about an hour and a half performance time, making it ideal for junior and high school productions. This timeless story remains the same: two young couples are all in love, but with the wrong people. They chase each other in a fantasy world, a forest filled with fairies, love potions and even a donkey. Their journey makes for an outrageous romp that advances perfe...

  Macbeth Fallout

Drama by Trey Clarkson

41 pages

Cast: 6-16 m, 5-15 w, flexible casting, some doubling possible.


This one-act version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth maintains the Bard’s original dialogue but changes the setting to a post-apocalyptic world affected by nuclear fallout. The setting allows for many opportunities for creative staging, props, music, and lighting. Three witches arise from piles of mannequin parts, looking as if they were just pieced together. Use of a shadow scrim intensifies the violent and edgy nature of the play. About an hour.

  Twelfth Night

Shakespeare by

68 pages

14 m, 3 w, and courtiers, attendants and servants.


One of Shakespeare's greatest "Breeches Parts" plays. Viola finds herself shipwrecked on a strange coast where she must disguise herself as a young man to get along in society. An intricate plot that retains its intricacy but not its confusion. This tale of love and courtship, mistaken identity, pride, and practical jokes is edited to 90 minutes. The actions flows quickly and the archaic terms are eliminated. This is a fine version for actors from junior high school through college to perform.

  Taming Of The Shrew

Shakespeare by

20 pages

3 m, 2 w, 2 flexible


An ideal version for introducing younger audiences to one of Shakespeare's best-known comedies. A narrator helps keep the action going and explains some lesser known words. The story, of course, is this: Petruchio, who wants a rich wife, marries Katharina, "the shrew." Then he has to tame her. And that he does by spirit, good-nature, and wit. The holy terror is subdued but perhaps Katharina saw in Petruchio what she liked in a man and allowed herself to be tamed. This is a loud and energetic romp from beginning to end. Can be presented with a detailed or simple settings, just as the cos...

  Much Ado About Nothing

Adaptation Shakespeare by Patricia B. Melehan

51 pages

8 m, 5 w, 9 flexible, extras


This adaptation, appropriate for middle school and high school students alike, contains much of Shakespeare's original poetry and language but with an additional female role, that of Nerissa, a gentlewoman of the court. The play, a satiric comedy about "romantic" love, features two contrasting couples. There is Benedick, a cad, who has sworn to forever remain a bachelor. But as it turns out, he meets his match when he encounters Beatrice, a strong, intelligent, witty woman. Beatrice doesn't need a man, and she doesn't want one either. Then there is Claudio, t...

  The Tempest

Shakespeare by John Dilworth Newman

40 pages

3 m, 5 w, 3 flexible (Some male roles have been adapted to female roles.)


On an enchanted island, a powerful man named Prospero uses his magic to create a tempest to shipwreck his enemies on his shores. Once they are on land, Prospero leads the castaways about with the help of his fairy servant, Ariel, who has long been promised her freedom. The conspiring nobles who once usurped Prospero’s dukedom are haunted by Ariel, and their plot to murder one of their own is thwarted. Meanwhile, one of the castaways, a kind prince, falls in love with Prospero’s daughter. Prospero’s monstrous servant, Caliban, meets up with the ship’s captain ...

  Pyramus And Thisbe

Adaptation Shakespeare by

22 pages

6 actors


The legend of Pyramus and Thisby is known today primarily because William Shakespeare used it in his comedy "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." As a part of Shakespeare’s play, six workers, sometimes called “mechanicals” or “clowns,” decide to present a play for the festivities that will follow the wedding of the Duke of Athens. In this one-act, we see the mechanicals getting their parts, then rehearsing in the woods the night before the wedding. Of course, these men know nothing about acting or play production, and, as a result, the audience is treated to a rousing, laughable performance by inep...

  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark

Shakespeare by C. Michael Perry

74 pages

16 m, 4 w + extras


Here is Shakespeare's classic story of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, with all of the psychology, guilt and tragedy that one is accustomed to in the original story. Nothing vital has been cut, but the play has been shortened, maintaining an incredible through-line of action. This version sails along. Perfect for high school and college theatre departments. A special CD of music and sound effects is available to enhance your production. (Music sample at right is "Ophelia's Theme.") About 2 hours.

  Macbeth

Shakespeare by

69 pages

Large, flexible cast.


The famous story of the brave but flawed man, who, even though he decides to murder his king for his kingdom, nevertheless thinks of himself a good man. Edited for time and archaic expressions this version of "The Scottish Play" moves quickly and tensely. A special CD containing sound effects and music is available to enhance your production. (Music sample at right is "Macbeth's Castle Underscore.")

  William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare by Tim Wright

56 pages

23 or more


The immortal tale of the star-crossed lovers finally comes to the stage in a manageable adaptation. All of the romance, action, suspense, comedy, drama and beautiful imagery is here, condensed without affecting the enjoyment of the Bard's original masterpiece. An exciting and beautiful adaptation, this version is a wonderful resource for all high school and college drama departments, as well as community theatre productions. The condensed text is easy for even the novice actor or audience member to understand, features very simple settings and still thunders ...

  Taming of the Shrew

Shakespeare by Eric L. Magnus

64 pages

10 m, 3 w, 11 flexible, extras


This adaptation of William Shakespeare's zesty classic comedy remains true to the original, but with its tighter construction is more easily accessible to junior and senior high school actors. Set in Padua, Italy, in the late 1500s, the story concerns the shy Bianca and the mean-spirited Katharina, the two daughters of a rich merchant named Baptista. Though Bianca is being courted by a number of young men, Baptista announces that she may not marry until Katharina is wed. None of the men in town are willing to marry Katharina, so Bianca remains unwed, even as ...

  Tempest, The

Adaptation Shakespeare by Patricia B. Melehan

58 pages

From the play by William Shakespeare


A ship at sea is suddenly swept up in a fierce tempest. The King of Naples, the Duke of Milan, and others become shipwrecked upon a mysterious island. Unbeknownst to them, the island is ruled by Prospero and Prospera, the rightful Duke and Duchess of Milan. With their magical powers they have cast the royals upon the island with an ultimate plan. But will Prospero and Prospera's scheme be cut short by their own prisoner/slave, Caliban, who along with the drunken butler, Stephano, have hatched a scheme of their own to take over the island? Will the tempest destroy everything or leave in ...

  Macbeth - A Tale Of Darkness

Drama by Nelly E Cuellar-Garcia

36 pages

7 m, 4 w, plus ensemble


Here is a retelling of Shakespeare's tale of the decline of an honorable man into darkness, a study of how far an individual is willing to go in the pursuit of power. This adaptation includes new scenes between Lord and Lady Macbeth and uses an interactive ensemble to play a variety of roles. Only the director’s imagination will be the limit for this piece. It can be staged as elaborately or as simply as desired. The truth is in the words. It was written to be performed at any venue, any time period, and with a multi-cultural cast. Movement, music, and passion are the driving forces withi...

  Romeo and Juliet

Shakespeare by Eric L. Magnus

73 pages

Widely flexible cast from 28 to 41


The classic and timeless tale of Shakespeare's two star-crossed lovers takes on new life in this clear and concise adaptation. Audiences will understand and love this show with its lack of archaic phases or dated references. Reduced to two acts, this version makes our greatest play more accessible for modern audiences. Actors new to Shakespeare will appreciate the added stage directions as well. This is a Romeo and Juliet for today. Running time is between 90 minutes and 120 minutes, depending on further optional cuts clearly explained in the script.