These dramas are designed to be performed for kids of all ages by adults or teen drama groups. They last approximately 45 to 50 minutes; can utilize a cast of various sizes depending on the doubling up schemes; but are ideal for no more than five, two females and three males or one female and four males depending on the show.
When the number of characters in a Shakespearean drama usually totals more than fifteen how this can be realized? Primarily this is accomplished through the use of a FRAMING DEVICE, which means an imposed structural framework that justifies using the stage conventions inherent in the script. So, for example, in MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, a small struggling theatre company that is touring (i.e. think of Commedia dell Arte) wakes up to discover that a significant number of actors have abandoned their group to take roles in KING LEAR at a nearby city. They then have to discover creative ways of putting on the show using a greatly diminished acting company.
This leads to the discovery and invention of a number of STAGE CONVENTIONS. Some of these include the use of a Narrator; puppets; rapid a-vista costume changes; elaborate doubling schemes; audience participation, and, as mentioned above, a play-within-the-play structural device which allows the audience to see the story of the actors revealed as well as the Shakespearean characters they are creating.