Plays Inspired by Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Got Talent!


Cast:  8F, 8M, 13 M OR F; Can be 13 players with doubling
Time: About 40 minutes

SPOOF.  Shakespeare’s characters come to life in this TV talent show parody!  Hosted by Puck, the mischievous fairy from A Midsummer Night’s Dream,and the Fool, Shakespeare’s characters are silly and humorous when seen from a contemporary perspective.  The judges, King Duncan, Romeo, and Portia (Brutus’ wife) are even funnier.  Hamlet mocks and threatens the judges, but is challenged to a pillow fight by Laertes.  Macbeth’s three witches refuse to be voted off stage and predict that Macbeth will become a judge.  Soon after, King Duncan disappears.  MacDuff wants to fight Macbeth to the death with rubber chickens.  None of the contestants are able to finish their acts, so the hosts and judges do their own dance act and vote themselves the winners.  A fun and entertaining way to introduce students to Shakespeare.  Easy to perform in the classroom or on stage.  One scene, minimal costumes and props.

Available through Pioneer Drama.

Ipswich High School

The Company at Ipswich High School, the Dolan Performing Arts Center, Ipswich, MA.  Directed by Cecelia McElwain and Sophia Stasiuk.

Shakespeare’s Next Top Model


Cast: 6 M, 18 F, 10 flexible, opt. extras (With doubling: Minimum cast of 15.)
Performance Time: Approximately 30 minutes, 32 pgs

SPOOF. Greetings and welcome to “Shakespeare’s Next Top Model,” the TV-reality show where the lovely ladies of Shakespeare compete for a modeling contract and the chance to be Shakespeare’s next top model. The three judges?  Cleopatra, Puck, and Princess Catherine?will speak with contestants and review their modeling portfolios to decide a winner. Contestants 243vying for a modeling contract include Bianca, Desdemona, Juliet, Ophelia, and Lady Macbeth. Lady Macbeth arrives on set and mistakenly thinks she’s competing for “Shakespeare’s Next Top Queen” and Othello shows up in a jealous rage thinking Desdemona is auditioning for “Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire”!

Available through Big Dog Plays

Shakespeare’s Next Top Fool


Cast: 7 M, 12 F, 8 flexible (Doubling possible.)
Performance Time: Approximately 30-45 minutes, 38 pgs.

585FARCE. In this reality-TV show, fools compete for the title of Shakespeare’s Next Top Fool. Contestants include the clown from “Othello,” King Lear’s fool, and the gravediggers from “Hamlet.” With a stage full of fools, Rosalind and Touchstone have their hands full hosting this show. In addition, the camera crew, consisting of Montagues and Capulets, can’t stop fighting. Security guard Nick Bottom keeps trying to take other people’s jobs. Then585.gif the judges begin to disappear. Bianca is dragged off by her shrewish sister, Caesar is called away to the senate, and Macduff picks a fight with Macbeth. A fun way to introduce students to Shakespeare. Easy to stage.

Available through Big Dog Plays

A Shakespearean Dating Show! 


Cast: 13 M, 13 F, 1 flexible, extras (With doubling: 8 M, 8 F, 1 flexible. Tripling possible.)
Performance Time: Approximately 30 minutes, 31 pgs.

“Is that a ghost?  It looks like someone in a lot of white stage makeup.” – Desdemona

FARCE. In this reality-TV show, characters from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “King Lear,” and “Romeo and Juliet” compete to find true love. Bachelors battle it out for a date with Juliet and Hermia, and 584.gifbachelorettes pull out the stops to win a date with Hortensio and the King of France. In the midst of the chaos, the ghost of Hamlet’s father appears, the Chorus constantly comments on the action, Juliet’s hot-headed cousin chases Romeo off, and some witches create havoc for Macbeth, the stage manager. A fun way to introduce students to Shakespeare. Easy to stage.

Available through Big Dog Plays

Little Ado About Something! 


Cast: 19 Total + Possible Extras.  3 Males, 5 Female, 11 Male/Female
Performance Time: 60-75 minutes.

Semi-finalist, 2017 New Plays for Young Audiences, New York University, NYC, NY

COMEDY.  Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing opens at Eureka Collegiate Academy in a week and the production is far from ready.  River, the avant-garde set designer keeps trying to set the play in wacky locations such as outer space, candy land, or ancient Rome.  The actors playing Benedict and Beatrice utterly loathe each other.  Ivy and Irwin, reporters from the school paper, keep trying to dig up dirt on the production to push papers.  Not to mention that the school bullies, Blaine and his two cronies Max and Frankie who were cast as the villainous Don John and his wily henchmen are hatching a plan to take over the production.  Can the cast use lessons from the play itself to help save the production?

Available with Brooklyn Publishers.

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