Shakespeare

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  A 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 - 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 passio...

  Twelfth Night or What You Will

Adaptation Shakespeare by Nathan Criman

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.

  Midsummer Night's Dream - Musical (Brown)

Shakespeare by Marilyn Brown

60 pages

6 m, 5 w, 11 flexible, 1 child, extras


Humorous and poignant lyrics, accompanied by charming, romantic melodies, enhance Shakespeare's most popular play of two girls and two boys who find themselves, by accident and the mischief of the Faeries, very mixed up in love. First both boys love one girl, then both girls love one boy. A situational comedy of the funniest kind, the drama is intensified by a group of bumbling rogues who perform a farcical entertainment for the King's wedding. The group's most famous member is Bottom, who, in another part of the play, becomes an attractive donkey-suitor to t...

  Shakespeare's Clowns

Comedy by Lane Riosley Rebecca Byars

41 pages

2 m, 2 w


This play is a gathering of some of the most clever characters ever written! It provides examples of the clownish, comic characters written by William Shakespeare in many different kinds of productions through the ages. Far from circus clowns in face paint, these are clowns in the broadest sense, varying in sizes, shapes, ages and types. A few of the characters include the rude Mechanicals in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Constable Dogberry in “Much Ado About Nothing,” the boastful Sir Jon Falstaff in “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” the boisterous sisters Bianca...

  What Fools These Mortals Be

Shakespeare by Anthony Powell

35 pages

2 m, 2 w


This show is a lively compilation of the many face of love, taken from the works of William Shakespeare. Selections range from the ridiculous to the sublime: excerpts from A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM, ROMEO AND JULIET, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, and LOVE'S LABOR'S LOST alternate with some of the Bard's most beautiful sonnets in this very funny and moving show. This is an entertaining and accessible tribute to Shakespeare and his most irritating muse, Cupid. 30 - 40 minutes.

  As You Like It

Shakespeare by C. Michael Perry

56 pages

Flexible cast of about 30


This delightful adaptation updates the action to 20th century New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration! It has been edited for time and archaic expressions, but otherwise the language is the same. The through-line is still very evident as Shakespeare's comment on the classes and pastoralism. Included in the oversized script are four original songs, New Orleans jazz style, which use Shakespeare's poems as the lyrics, with the suggestion of a grand finale of "When the Saints Go Marching In." The costumes are modern day but still very much in the style of Shakespeare ...

  The 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...

  Merry Wives of Windsor

Shakespeare by Ernest Cabrera

63 pages

14 m, 4 w, extras


Mistress Page and Mistress Ford are up to paying back the mischievous Falstaff for his duplicity. The Merry Wives of Windsor, one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, features the huge and conceited Sir John Falstaff at his funniest. Because the play is filled with a large variety of character types including two with outrageous accents, students will find this condensed version (which uses the Bard's own words), manageable, enjoyable and rewarding. About 90 minutes.

  Tempest

Shakespeare by C. Michael Perry

40 pages

11 m, 4 f, 1 Either + sprites, nymphs, reapers and sailors.


The plotting, the revenge, the tempered justice, requited love, compassion and forgiveness is all here in Shakespeare's fantasy-comedy masterpiece. This version has edited the archaic terms and unnecessary business and dialogue. Perfect for high school and college theatre departments. A special CD is available of sound effects and flute songs. (Song sample at right is "Nymphs and Reapers Dance.")

  Two Gentlemen of Verona

Shakespeare by Tom Smith

42 pages

4 m, 3 w, 7 flexible parts, some doubling possible


Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy follows the adventures of best friends Valentine and Proteus and the intrigues that ensue when Proteus, engaged to Julia, falls in love with Valentine's beloved, Julia. Reduced from the original 2 ½ hours to 45 minutes, this competition-length adaptation is for teachers who would like to present Shakespeare but feel intimidated to find ways to make it accessible to their students. This adaptation is fast, funny, easy to stage and easy to understand, even for middle school students.

  Winter's Tale

Shakespeare by John Dilworth Newman

68 pages

13 m, 13 w, and Bear, Time Chorus & Musicians


A beautiful adaptation especially written for secondary school students to perform. Here is the story of good versus evil and the power of time to heal all wounds. Leontes, without warning, suddenly believes his visiting boyhood friend, Polixenes, is in love with Leontes' wife Hermione. Leontes even goes so far as to order his friend poisoned and Hermione thrown in jail where she has a baby girl. It never occurs to Leontes he could be wrong, even though the Oracle of Apollo showed the couple's innocence. Sixteen years later the child, Perdita, who has been ra...

  Macbeth Fallout

Drama by Trey Clarkson

41 pages

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.

  Pyramus and Thisbe

Adaptation Shakespeare by Paul Caywood

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...

  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 ...