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.
PLAYWRIGHT TOM SMITH TALKS ABOUT
“TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA”
Q.: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS ADAPTATION?
A.: I've worked with a lot of middle and high school teachers who would like to present Shakespeare, but felt intimidated to find ways to cut down the length and make it accessible to their students. This encouraged me to write scripts specifically for these directors, and to make the scripts competition length as well.
Q.: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY?
A.: I think this is one of Shakespeare's most funny plays, and I like it all. However, I do particularly love all the scenes between Launce and his dog, Crab.
Q.: WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART IN CREATING THIS ADAPTATION?
A.: I think cutting down a 2 ½ hour play to 45 minutes is always a challenge—just trying to figure out how to keep the story without losing any of the things that make it so good.
Q.: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE THROUGH THIS ADAPTATION?
A.: I wanted any teacher or director new to Shakespeare to find it fast, funny, easy to stage, and easy to understand.