Shakespeare’s Shorts

These scripts take Shakespeare’s plays and just get to the point, reducing them to under 20 minutes.  You know:  all the characters and quotes you love, without the boring bits, like internal conflict, character development, or plot.  

These are stand-alone scripts without the evening’s outline. You can choose one or several to be performed by your court actors.

Hamlet & Macbeth does include an outline for the evening.
Much Ado and Twelfth Night also have madrigal versions with an outline. 

Antony is a brilliant military strategist, until he meets Cleopatra.  Then he has all the martial cunning of a March hare.  Can he get his head in the game for the final battle with Octavian, or will Cleopatra prove to be too much of a distraction?

    Cast size: 2 Male, 3 M/F, Extras

In our Hamlet, there is a lot less introspection and a lot more mayhem.  Two characters even get killed twice.  But don’t worry, the violence is very stylized.  That’s another way of saying that it’s really fake, since most directors don’t have much of a special effects budget.

    Cast size: 2 Female, 3 M/F, 4-8 Extras

It’s all the mayhem of Hamlet, only the Queen has been murdered, and her daughter, Hamlette, must avenge her death. A popular Shakespeare play with a woman’s touch.

    Cast size: 5-7 Males, 4 Females, 4-5 M/F, Courtiers, 4 Extras

In this, we’ve combined two in one. The Town Crier is scrambling for entertainment for the Court, so Jester uses short versions of Hamlet and Macbeth, which were written by the Town Crier. Except the Town Crier doesn’t recognize these versions. At all.

Brutus and Cassius plot to kill Caesar.  Caesar never catches on, even though the Seer warned him, his wife warned him, and everyone in the Senate is armed to the teeth.  Makes you wonder how this guy conquered most of Europe.

You thought the Kardashians had drama in their lives?  That’s nothing compared to the King Lear Family. Set as a reality TV show, this is about as deep as anything you’ll see on cable.  Sponsored by Lady Macbeth Stain Remover and Fairy Dust Cologne.

    Cast size: 4 Male, 3 Female, 1 M/F

Macbeth is Thane of Scotland, his wife is inthane, and the witch has multiple personality syndrome.  Duncan, beware!

A twist on Taming of the Shrew. In this tale, Petruchio is stuck in arrested development; Kate is interested in fixer-uppers and is probably the only one up for the task.

Sir John Falstaff plots to earn fast money through seduction and blackmail. He does not have the looks for seduction nor the woman to blackmail.

Puck the fairy orchestrates a lot less mayhem in this play, as he only has a few minutes to do so. And there’s a short play within this short play! Two plays in 12 minutes!

The villain, Don John, manipulates the budding love between Hero and Claudio. Hero and Claudio manipulate the secret love between Benedick and Beatrice. It has all the drama of a high school hallway.

Romeo is a Republican.  Juliet is a Democrat.  You just know this isn’t going to end well.

Passengers crash land on an island, and they run into mysterious “Others” who prevent them from leaving the island. Nope, this isn’t LOST; it’s a Shakespearean play!

Two twins, a clown, and a Jedi knight walk in to a Shakespearean play. Duke Orsino loves Lady Olivia who loves Viola (who’s disguised as Cesario) who loves Duke Orsino. Talk about a mixed-up comedy!