Shakespeare, Clearly - Stage Partners

In April, we celebrate one of the world’s most famous playwright’s birthday, William Shakespeare. We may be a publisher and cheerleader of new plays, but The Bard always continues to inspire. In his close to 40 plays, Shakespeare explores the many facets of the human condition that connect us all. For his birthday month, we wanted to celebrate Shakespeare by sharing how he inspires our writers and teachers.

If you are looking to bring Shakespeare into your season, theatre classroom, or community, Stage Partners offers classic adaptations that are easily accessible to all ages. We hope young artists and students fall in love with the characters and desire to dive into the original text. Consider these offerings a gateway into Shakespeare!

Wild Waves Whist

When Theatre Teacher Patty MacMullen couldn’t find the right play for her cast, she wrote one for them. Wild Waves Whist finds its inspirations from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. This one-act drama is about the making of a school production. It honors the tradition of school theater as we have always known it; the highs and lows, the casting process, the ensemble building that creates life-long friendships.

Shakespeare, Clearly

These straightforward adaptations mix contemporary and classical language that emphasizes story and character rather than the poetry. Jon Jory has reimagined some of Shakespeare’s most popular plays to serve as an early introduction for younger audiences and actors that allows easy involvement. Inventive yet faithful, these adaptations will inspire actors and audiences alike to revisit Shakespeare’s original texts. If you decide to perform these adaptations which include Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Twelfth Night, to name a few, audiences young and old will no doubt connect to Shakespeare in a new and enjoyable way.

How To Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play

Playwright Don Zolidis has written a hilarious send up of what it’s like to perform the work of Shakespeare. There is a virtual version, too! Someday it’s going to happen: You’re going to find yourself on stage, wearing tights, and saying things in iambic pentameter. Face it, you’re in a Shakespeare play, and, according to Zolidis, that means it’s a pretty good bet you’re going to DIE. The Bard is out for blood, but this play is here to stop him! How could Romeo and Juliet survive? Julius Caesar? A nameless soldier in Henry the Fifth? Discover how a dozen of Shakespeare’s plays could’ve turned out differently! If only they listened…

Happy 457th Birthday, William Shakespeare! Happy Spring! We hope you can bring The Bard to your theatre and community. Break a leg!

Shakespeare, Clearly – Stage Partners

Learn more about Jon Jory's philosophy behind adapting Shakespeare: It's Shakespeare, Clearly.

Wild Waves Whist – Stage Partners

Patty MacMullen's adaptation of The Tempest is inspired by her own students. Read it for free!

How To Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play – Stage Partners

Get the tips you need to survive the Bard's greatest hits in How To Survive Being in a Shakespeare Play.

The Joy of Making Fun of Shakespeare – Stage Partners

Playwright Don Zolidis shares part of his process on the blog in The Joy of Making Fun of Shakespeare.

About the Author

Maria McConville has been a NYC Public School teaching artist since 2005. In the past she has worked with the Theatre Development Fund, LeAP! Onstage, and Periwinkle Theater for Youth, and as a Shakespeare and Playwriting teaching artist with Theatre For A New Audience. Her students have performed and adapted the work of Shakespeare, written their own plays, devised ensemble performance pieces, sang and danced in musical productions, and performed their peers work on a Broadway stage. Maria is also the playwright of #Censored and #Viral (Stage Partners) and other plays.