Plays, Poems and Pratfalls: Will Shakespeare, An Introduction

by Evan Guilford-Blake
  • 45 Minutes
  • 1 or 2 Males, 1 or 2 Females

$7.95$40.00

Plays, Poems, and Pratfalls: Will Shakespeare, an Introduction, by Evan Guilford-Blake is a 45-minute introduction to various works of The Bard. Written to be performed by 2 or 4 actors within a single class period. ideal for ages 8 – 12. Printable PDF available

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  • Hardcopy 11.95 Printed Copy Mailed to You
  • Review Script 7.95 Watermarked PDF Download
  • Multi-Copy PDF 25.00 Printable Production Script PDF

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

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Play Details

Overview

It’s a cross between traditional theater (incorporating as much action as the director chooses) and classic storytelling — narration to set the scene, make the transitions and move the tales along.

The play includes:

  • an excerpt from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • a highly condensed version of Hamlet
  • two well-known monologues from As You Like It
  • one of the sonnets: number 18.

With condensed scenes from popular Shakespeare plays and excerpts from the sonnets, it provides an inviting introduction to the Bard’s work and language for young students.

From the Play

Download Script Sample PDF
Plays Poems And Pratfalls – An Introduction the Shakespeare

WOMAN
Hi, I’m (ACTOR’S NAME).

MAN
And I’m (ACTOR’S NAME)

WOMAN
And we’ve got something special for you

MAN
From the works of William Shakespeare.

WOMAN
Now, most of you have probably heard of Shakespeare — he wrote a lot plays and poems.

MAN
Oh boy did he: thirty-seven plays! And 154 poems.

[WOMAN]
[Has anyone seen one of Shakespeare’s plays?]

[IF THE AUDIENCE ANSWERS “YES”]

[WOMAN]
[What did you see?]

[MAN]
[Oh, I love (PLAY NAMED BY AUDIENCE MEMBER). All those witches and swordfights
(HE “duels”)
and funny-looking costumes [OR: fairies and mistaken identities and funny-looking costumes OR THE APPROPRIATE EQUIVALENT FOR THE NAMED PLAY].
(Giggles)
Would you want to wear a toga? Me neither.
(WOMAN coughs.)
Oh! Sorry.]

IF THE AUDIENCE ANSWERS “NO” OR IF THERE’S NO RESPONSE

[MAN]
[Well, I have. I really loved two of them! One had witches and swordfights
(HE “duels”)
and funny-looking costumes, and the other had fairies and mistaken identities and funny-looking costumes. Would you want to wear a toga? Me neither.
(WOMAN coughs.)
Oh! Sorry.]

WOMAN
Has anybody tried to read anything he wrote?

[MAN]
[What did you read?]

[WOMAN]
[What did you think about it?]

MAN
Kind of strange, huh? All those weird words that don’t make any sense, like

WOMAN
Fair is foul

MAN
And foul is fair

BOTH
Hover through fog and filthy air.

MAN
Yuck!

WOMAN
Well, they were written more than four hundred years ago — Shakespeare lived in England, from 1564 till 1616 — and the language does sound kind of peculiar today, especially the first time you hear it.

MAN
But — the stories the plays tell, and the ideas in them, can be both fun and exciting

WOMAN
And, once you know the story of a play, the language is a lot easier to follow.

MAN
So, this morning we’re going to tell you some of the stories

WOMAN
And poetry

MAN
And introduce you to some of the characters


WOMAN
of William Shakespeare.

MAN
And we thought we’d start off with something absolutely ridiculous.

WOMAN
Kind of like you?

MAN
Duh. Yeah.

WOMAN
Well! This is a story about sprites and fairies

MAN
And strange happenings

WOMAN
From one of Shakespeare’s silliest comedies

MAN
A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

WOMAN
Like most plays, it has several stories in it, which are called plots

MAN
And one of them has to do with Oberon and Titania, the King and Queen of the Fairies.

WOMAN
When the play begins, Oberon and Titania are very upset with each other because each has accused the other of being in love with
WOMAN (contd)
(Gasps)
a mortal.

MAN
Shame, shame on them. —
(Singsongy, to WOMAN)
Titania loves a mortal, Titania loves a mortal

WOMAN
(Sticks her tongue out at him)
Hmph!

MAN
And so

WOMAN
Titania goes off in a huff

MAN
And Oberon decides to play a little trick on her

WOMAN
With the help of Puck, his chief sprite.

MAN
So, imagine: It’s the middle of a warm summer night.

WOMAN
You’re in a great forest

MAN
Filled with the sounds and the smells of animals and birds,
(SOUND up.)
and moonlight…

(LIGHTS change.)

WOMAN
As we bring you Oberon, the Fairy King, meeting with Puck…

MAN (Oberon)
My gentle Puck, come hither. Thou rememb’rest
Since once I sat upon that great high cliff
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin’s back
Singing in such a sweet and harmonious voice
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid’s music.

WOMAN (Puck)
I remember.

MAN (Oberon)
That very time I saw (but thou couldst not)
Flying between the cold moon and the earth
Cupid, all armed. A certain aim he took
And loosed his arrow smartly from his bow
As it should pierce a thousand hearts.
But […]
It fell upon a little western flower,
Before, milk-white, now purple with love’s wound,
And young girls call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flow’r; the one I showed thee once.
The juice of it, on sleeping eyelids poured,
Will make a man or woman madly love
Whatever next live creature it may see.
Fetch me this flow’r, and come back here again
Before the great sea creature can swim a league.

WOMAN (Puck)
I’ll go once around the earth and be back
In forty minutes.

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