Our plays are performed using original scripts which have been edited to run between 90 to 120 minutes while keeping Shakespeare’s language intact. For nineteen years the scripts were adapted by our Founder, Jan Helling Croteau. This year the torch has been taken up by others who have made adjustments to the script for Love’s Labour’s Lost.
Jan Helling Croteau incorporated music into the text and added characters to the script who narrate the scenes using modern-day English. For example, in our adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, Jan set the play during the American Civil War using Mathew Brady, the famous war photographer, to narrate the action between the scenes.
The narrators for The Taming of the Shrew were girl rappers who danced and rapped the narration to the story line as the production was set in modern times. Our first version of Love’s Labour’s Lost was set in 1500’s Venice, Italy during carnival time and the narrators were two gondoliers and two mask makers who gossiped about the King of Navarre and his court.
The scripts are geared for young people in grades 8 – 12 and include production notes, story overview, word and phrase meanings, and stage direction. Hailed by teachers, scholars, and general audience members, our script adaptations are what make the works of Shakespeare accessible to audiences of all ages.
Shakespearean scholar Herb Coursen, editor of Shakespeare in the Classroom and retired professor from Bowdoin College wrote to us after attending our performance of The Taming of The Shrew: “I really enjoyed your show! The music was splendid. As I told you at the performance, I thought the script adaptation was outstanding. I enjoyed the choreography, particularly of the [narrators] chorus. They were very much part of the show without too much imposition of point of view on the play itself. It really works!”