Shakespeare After School

by D.D. Delaney
  • 50 Minutes
  • 1 Male, 1 Female, Min/Max 2


An Hilarious One Act for Two Characters by D. D. Delaney

Features scenes from Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet in an unusual format — as ornaments brightening the lives of two high school custodians. A play within a play, offering a peek into the secret life of stage-struck custodians Rudy Mahoney and Flo Berry, who after school, pretend they are Shakespearean actors, passionately playing their scenes as they imagine real actors would do.


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  • Review Script 8.00 Watermarked PDF Download
  • Hardcopy 9.00 Delivery 1- 3 Weeks
  • Class/Group Study 75.00 Printable PDF for Multiple Copies
  • Multi-Copy PDF 25.00 Printable PDF for Cast/Crew

Performance Fee $40.00 A Production License Fee Per Performance (mandatory for all performances)

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Play Details


They transform themselves into Lord and Lady Macbeth, Brutus and Portia, Caesar and Calphurnia, and Lord and Lady Capulet, the unfortunate parents of Juliet.

When they discover they are being watched—by a group of students at an unannounced play practice—the embarrassed custodians must adapt by including their audience in several of their scenes, creating an interactive performance.

Approximately the length of a standard class, Shakespeare After School can stand alone or, combined with its sequel, Shakespeare: Playing for Laughs, can serve as the first act of a full-length theatrical entertainment.

From the Play

Play Excerpt:

The Characters:
Rudy Mahoney
Flo Berry
These hilarious people must be portrayed by character actors who will make them their own!

The Scene: This play should take place on a stage, or at the front of a large classroom. The props and costumes reflect that magical transformation from School Custodial staff to Elizabethan Europe.

(Standing facing each other—Flo right, Rudy left—in front of table, they pick up cups and toast each other with stiff artificiality. Then, Rudy, as Macbeth, turns downstage. Flo resumes Lady Macbeth.)

Macbeth: You know your own degrees: sit down.

(Pause. Rudy is staring at the audience. Flo soon sees what he is staring at and stares herself. Rudy shifts uncomfortably toward her.)

Rudy: Flo. There are a whole bunch of students out there, watching us.

Flo: I see them, Rudy.

Rudy: What are they doing here?

Flo: I don’t know.

Rudy: Well…how long have they been there?

Flo: I don’t know.

Rudy: Wait a minute. They’re here for play practice!

Flo: Play practice?

Rudy: I forgot all about it! It was a change in the schedule, Miss Schock told me yesterday. What’re we going to do? We’re caught red-handed!

Flo: Don’t panic. Improvise. Maybe they’d like to play our royal guests at the banquet.

Rudy: Are you serious?

Flo: Why not? They’re here, aren’t they? They’re actors! It could be worse. Let me talk to them. You set up some chairs.

Rudy: Well, okay, if you say so.

(Rudy sets up six folding chairs around the upstage rim of the table, a bench along the downstage rim. Flo comes downstage to the audience and recruits volunteers—three males, three females—to fill the chairs. Rudy places them, a volunteer standing at each chair.)

Flo: Hey. Hi. You sure took us by surprise! So…what can I say? We’re playing Shakespeare. It’s…like a hobby we have. You know, like…karaoke, when you teach yourself to perform your favorite songs. Well, we want to play the banquet scene from Macbeth. And you could help. Could I have some volunteers to be guests at the royal banquet table? Yes, you, and you, and you. Thank you for volunteering! Come right up and have seats, here, here, you there beside him, that’s it. Now, the rest of you, imagine that you’re guests at this banquet, too. You see, the Mac Bees are throwing a big, important dinner party, the first one since they became King and Queen. They’ve got to make a good impression, just about every important person in Scotland is there—including one guest who definitely was not invited. And that makes you all witnesses to some very bizarre behavior.

(They begin the scene, as before.)

Macbeth: You know your own degrees: sit down.

(Volunteers sit in chairs. Flo-Lady Macbeth sits on bench.)

Macbeth: At first and last the hearty welcome.

Here had we now our country’s honor roof’d,

were the graced person of our Banquo present;

who may I rather challenge for unkindness

than pity for mischance!

Lady Macbeth: His absence, lord,

lays blame upon his promise. Please’t your Highness

to grace us with your royal company.

Macbeth: The table’s full.

Lady Macbeth: Here is a place reserved, sir.

Macbeth: Where?

Lady Macbeth: Here, my good lord!

(Macbeth stares in horror at Banquo’s ghost, seated invisible on the bench next to Lady Macbeth.)

Lady Macbeth: What is’t that moves your Highness?

Macbeth: Which of you has done this?

Lady Macbeth: What, my good lord?

Macbeth: (To ghost) Thou canst not say I did it! Never shake thy gory locks at me.

(Ghost vanishes. Macbeth, shaken, turns away.)

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