Tuesday, March 29, 2016

"The Storm" is Shakespeare for Kids - modern retelling of Shakespeare’s the Tempest for 21st century children

I decided to play around with the idea of retelling some of Shakepeare's plays in modern language that young people can understand.  I rewrote some monologues from Romero and Juliet and now I'm playing with the idea of adapting "The Tempest" into a kid friendly play called...

"THE STORM" 
by D. M. Larson

(A modern retelling of Shakespeare’s the Tempest for 21st century kids)


SCENE I. 

(On a ship - thunder and lightning heard)
CAPTAIN
Dwain!


DWAIN
Ay ay  captain? 


(Dwain is right behind the Captain who doesn't see him)

CAPTAIN
Dwain!

DWAIN
Captain!

(Dwain shouts and scares Captain)

CAPTAIN

Don't do that!

DWAIN
What's up, Captain?

CAPTAIN
The storm!

DWAIN
Is there one coming?

(Loud Thunder and lighting - lights flash)

CAPTAIN
Perhaps - call the crew - batten down the hatches - hoist the sail -swab the deck! There she blows!

DWAIN
Are you panicking Captain?

CAPTAIN
Perhaps.

DWAIN
I’ll have the crew prepare for the storm.

CAPTAIN
Thank you. Make it so.

DWAIN
Of course. All hands on deck!  All hands on deck!

(Ship’s crew members, AL, ANT and GONZO rush on to stage.  Wind blows them off again.  They try to get back in again)

DWAIN
There’s a storm coming.

AL
I think it’s already here.

(The crew is blown off stage again.  They struggle back on)

ANT
Where’s the captain?

DWAIN
Below.

AL
Where we should be.

DWAIN
After we batten down the hatches and secure the sail and…

(Crew is blown off again)

DWAIN
Maybe we better go below.

(DWAIN leaves)

GONZO
Do not run!  We have to secure the sail and save the ship from this storm.

AL
Oh do be quiet. And get below!

GONZO
Will no one help me?  Must I do this myself?

(Lighting and thunder)

ANT
Yes, do it yourself.  Out of my way!

(They try to exit but the storm pushes them around off and on the stage)

GONZO
I will face you alone then, Storm.  You will not end us this day. I swear it. I will stand firm and keep this ship afloat despite your might roar.  You might strike fear into these others, but not me. I will not give in and let you drown me.  I will not let you sink this ship. I challenge you to try and show us all your might for you will be ashamed at what you have done in the face of such bravery.

AL
I don’t know if I’d call that bravery.

ANT
Don’t taunt the storm like that.  You’ll just make it madder and us deader.

AL
We really don’t want to die.

ANT
You’re just making it madder.

AL
Maybe if we talk nice to the storm.

ANT
You’re a very beautiful storm.

(Storm calms a bit)

AL
Such lovely colors.

ANT
Have you ever seen such a nice storm?

AL
A perfect storm.

GONZO
A perfectly terrible storm. One that we will defeat!   Man over nature!

(Lighting and thunder is louder than ever)

ANT
You had to go and upset her again.

AL
And after all those nice things we said too.

ANT
All is lost.

AL
We’re doomed.

ANT
Goodbye Mother!

AL
Goodbye Father!

ANT
Goodbye to my brother.

AL
Goodbye to my sister.

ANT
Goodbye to my dog.

AL
Goodbye to my cat.

ANT
Goodbye to my pillow.  I love my pillow - it's so soft - it's so hard to find the perfect pillow - now all is lost.

(Thunder and Lightning and ANT and AL are blown away)

GONZO
I would give a million oceans for a single piece of dry land. I am sick of being on this ship. I never wanted to die at sea. 


END OF SCENE 1

***

If you enjoyed this scene, post below saying which of Shakespeare's plays you'd love seeing adapted in a similar way or email doug@freedrama.net with your suggestions.


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