Open Forum

Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

  • 1.  Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

    Posted 25 days ago
    Has anyone done it for competition before? How did you cut it? Was it successful?

    And if not, what would you suggest instead?

    ---------------------------------
    Tiffany Garner
    Theatre Director
    American Leadership Academy Gilbert Noth
    Gilbert AZ
    ---------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

    Posted 25 days ago
    I've seen this at competition twice and neither time was really successful.  I would recommend looking at works of Don Zolidis.  We did The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon which has a one-act version.  It was very funny and similar in style.  You can keep it a small cast (5 or so) or expand if needed.  He has a few others in the same style.

    ------------------------------
    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

    Posted 24 days ago
    If what you're looking for is condensed Shakespeare, I've assembled three "Breakneck" Shakespeare pieces, including "Shakespeare's Histories; Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace," "Breakneck Hamlet" and "Breakneck Julius Caesar." I performed all three of them as one-hour one-man plays, but they can all be divided up into near-full-cast shows, or performed by a small core of actors each playing multiple roles. I'd be happy to send a copy of the script to any who inquire.

    Tim

    ------------------------------
    Tim Mooney
    www.timmooneyrep.com
    www.moliere-in-english.com
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

    Posted 23 days ago
    If you want trophies, do another show.  If you want to give your kids and audiences the joy of their lifetime ... Do. This. Show.

    We have done it twice in competition and did NOT win either time.  In one instance, the winning director all but apologized to me.  That play was a heavy drama and two of the judges wrote that our show, while wonderful, was too "light-hearted."  It's a common theme: dramas are more "important" than comedies.  It's not always the case; we've all seen wonderful comedies win these events.  However, in looking over the list of winners over the years, dramas dominate.  And so it goes.

    They did award us "Best Ensemble" "Set Design" and individuals were cited as either "Best Actor" (male and female) and "All Star Cast".  In both productions, I had about 20 performers on stage and received permission from the publisher to make cuts to fit the show into our 55-minute window.  We also got permission to update cultural references to make the show more relevant to modern audiences.  This is invaluable.

    We had huge audiences for our public performances both before and following the competitions.  My kids loved it as did our English and History teachers.  Even the Athletic Coaches that attended the public shows enjoyed the section in which the Wars of the Roses is played out as a football game!

    We were even asked to take the shows on tour to our local feeder schools -- middle schoolers loved it!  A local theatre venue also had us perform the show in their space (and no, they didn't ask this of the winning show!). Professors from nearby colleges even had their students see our show as part of their English and Arts Appreciation courses (a high school play!!!).

    Yes, I consider the experience with "Compete Works..." an overwhelming success -- EVEN THOUGH we didn't win the competitions.  We got to show off the unique aspects of our theatre program.  A large number of student actors got to not only perform, but they actually had the experience of "touring."  And, for what it's worth, we made money with this show.  Above all, both the cast and our audiences learned important facts about art, literature, history, and personal development through the process of live theatre.  Trophies are wonderful, we have won many.  But nothing beats applause.


    ------------------------------
    Josh Ruben, M. Ed.
    Fine Arts Head
    Northwest Whitfield HS (dba, The Northwest Theatre Co.)
    Tunnel Hill, GA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

    Posted 23 days ago
    We won regional one act and placed 3rd at state with this show. We also got best actor in the region and in the state. We loved it! But we did the original with only three guys and did not expand the cast at all. We also did a cutting where we took out a lot of the interaction between the three guys and the audience interaction and did more of the actual Shakespeare. We competed back to back with another group who did the exact same show except for they cut a lot of the actual Shakespeare and kept the interaction between the three guys. I think our cutting and their performance of it is a lot of what helped us win.

    ------------------------------
    Jenni Caruso
    Theatre Director
    Salem High School
    Conyers, GA
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged) For Competition?

    Posted 22 days ago
    And just another little addendum to my previous post, we also did a very simple set. We took plumbing pipe and made a 15 ft clothes rack that was lined with black binder clips. Then we hung every costume piece from the binder clips so that it created a sort of curtain. We used one cube and two black garbage cans that held all of the swords and handheld props. The way I staged it, every time a costume piece was used, they would just throw it on the floor. When they were setting up for the final scene I had my set crew come through and sweep up all of the costume pieces. When the play was over the rack was empty and my set crew just moved it behind the go line. The other school followed more of the original set with the three doorways. I think our originality really played in our favor. We had to be very creative with staging.
    I think one of the other factors was my student who played Hamlet worked extremely hard on his "what a piece of work is man" speech. It was very naturalistic and heartfelt.

    ------------------------------
    Jenni Caruso
    Theatre Director
    Salem High School
    Conyers, GA
    ------------------------------