Planning a school or amateur Shakespeare production? The best way to experience the plays is to perform them, but getting started can be a challenge: The complete plays are too long and complex, while scene selections or simplified language are too limited.
"The 30-Minute Shakespeare" is a new series of abridgements that tell the story” of each play from start to finish while keeping the beauty of Shakespeare’s language intact. Specific stage directions and character suggestions give even inexperienced actors the tools to perform Shakespeare with confidence, understanding, and fun!
This cutting of THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR begins with one of Shakespeare's favorite fat knights, Sir John Falstaff, announcing his intention to woo both Mistress Ford and Mistress Page simultaneously, to the delight of his cohorts Bardolph, Pistol, and Nym, who then decide to double-cross Falstaff. The characters' movements on stage are clearly denoted so that even inexperienced actors can give the scenes life: Robin is nearsighted, Bardolph is a drunk who tries to juggle, and Pistol and Nym are constantly jostling for position. Other key moments include the hilarious wooing of Mistress Ford by Falstaff and the hysterical concealment of Falstaff in the laundry basket. The cutting ends in the woods with Falstaff dressed as a stag, being tormented by fairies for his comeuppance.
The edition also includes an essay by editor Nick Newlin on how to produce a Shakespeare play with novice actors, and notes about the original production of this abridgement at the Folger Shakespeare Library's annual Student Shakespeare Festival.