Writing up my 4th Shakespearean play for the 6th Graders (English as a 2nd language), my easy to understand version. After tampering with Hamlet (too depressing and deep) and As You Like It (way too messy) , I chose Twelfth Night.
Here's my first attempt at the beginning...yes, it is juvenile, but it's meant to be, it's for 12 year olds with English as a 2nd language.
What d'ya think? Good so far?
EACH CHARACTER HOLDS A NAME AND DESCRIPTION OF ROLE BEFORE AUDIENCE, STANDS IN THEIR ‘PLACE’ OF AUTHORITY
THUNDER SOUNDS, SHIP PICTURE (ON A SHIP), ACTORS ROCKING IN SEA
VIOLA: Sebastian my brother! My twin! Where are you? I’m afraid! SEBASTIAN ENTERS
SEBASTIAN: Viola my sister! My sweet twin! Do not be afraid, I am here! HOLDS HER SHOULDER. CAPTAIN ENTERS
CAPTAIN: Abandon ship! We are doomed, I tell ya, doomed! CAPTAIN LEAVES
MORE THUNDER, SCREAMS. ALL LEAVE. PICTURE OF THE BEACH. SOUNDS OF THE SEASIDE, SEAGULLS. VIOLA AND CAPTAIN LYING ON FLOOR.
VIOLA: Where… where am I?
CAPTAIN: On a beach.?
VIOLA: But where?
CAPTAIN: In the sand?
VIOLA: Sebastian. Where is my brother and twin Sebastian?
VIOLA: No! It cannot be!
CAPTAIN: Okay, then. Not drowned?
VIOLA: Where are we?
CAPTAIN: I think you have already…SIGN SHOWING THE WORD “ILLYRIA”….Oh, Illyria, madam.
VIOLA: Syria?! Looks like no one is home.
CAPTAIN: No, Illyria. The Duke Oreos governs this land.
VIOLA: I like Oreos.
CAPTAIN: You haven’t met him yet! Come, we must seek food and shelter.
VIOLA AND CAPTAIN LEAVE. SEBASTIAN APPEARS, CONFUSED, WALKS AWAY.
PICTURE: THE DUKE OREO’S PALACE. DUKE OREOS, CURIO ON ONE SIDE…OLIVIA (BLACK VEIL), MALVOLIO, MARIA ON THE OTHER. FUNERAL OF OLIVIA’S FATHER AND BROTHER.
OLIVIA: My father! My brother! CRIES
DUKE OREOS: Seven years?!
CURIO: Yes, sir. Olivia will not look at another man for seven years.
DUKE OREOS: But seven years?!
CURIO: Tie a knot in it, sir.
DUKE OREOS: For seven years?!
CURIO: Tie two knots.
DUKE OREOS: I love her. I want her now!
CURIO: Make that three.
COFFINS ARE PUSHED AWAY. OLIVIA, MALVOLIO, MARIA LEAVE ONE SIDE.
DUKE OREOS: Seven years?! Think of something, Curio!
CURIO: Yes, sir.
VIOLA AND CAPTAIN HIDE AT THE SIDE
VIOLA: Who is this delicious man?
CAPTAIN: This is Duke Oreos.
VIOLA: I like Oreos.
CAPTAIN: I think you have already….Oh! You like Duke Oreos.
VIOLA: That too.
CURIO: Sir! I have an idea.
DUKE OREOS: Spit it out.
CURIO: But I’m not chewing gum.
DUKE OREOS: Tell me your idea.
CURIO: Oh. Send a servant to tell Olivia that you love her.
DUKE OREOS: But I don’t have a servant.
VIOLA: Captain! I have an idea! Dress me as a man!
CAPTAIN: Well, hello sailor.
VIOLA: No, not that! Dress me as a man and then I can be a servant to the Duke!
CAPTAIN. Oh, right. Of course.
PUT A MOUSTACHE ON HER (LIKE SEBASTIAN’S)
VIOLA: That’s it?
CAPTAIN: We were shipwrecked. What more do you want?
VIOLA GREETS DUKE OREOS.
VIOLA: Greetings, kind sir. I am looking for a position as ‘servant’.
CURIO: Yes! Saved!
DUKE OREOS IS ATTRACTED TO VIOLA BUT ALSO DISGUSTED (THE MOUSTACHE).
DUKE OREOS: Greetings, young…’man’. Yes, I am in need of a servant. LOOKS HER OVER. Yes, congratulations, you have the job!
VIOLA: Thank you, sir!
DUKE OREOS: Now, go to Olivia and tell her how much I love…LOOKS AT VIOLA (ATTRACTED/DISGUSTED) ….her.
VIOLA: Sorry? HEARTBROKEN
DUKE OREOS: Go on, now! Tell her!
VIOLA: Yes, sir.
VIOLA BOWS AND LEAVES. ALL LEAVE. SEBASTIAN ENTERS, CONFUSED, LEAVES.