The Plays of William Shakespeare, Playwright: A Play

Setting: The Globe, 23 April 1616

At rise: Nothing

(Thirty-eight ACTORS, each dressed in identical burnt-orange robes but wearing different masks over their faces, like a Greek chorus at sunset, enter from all sides off the stage. Each carries a copy of a different play by William Shakespeare, Playwright, based on The Norton Shakespeare. Their masks reflect the copy of each play they carry.

They form a line across the front of the stage, and all open to the first page of their respective play. All begin READING the works of William Shakespeare, Playwright, simultaneously.)

Two Gentlemen of Verona: “Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus…

The Taming of the Shrew: “I’ll feeze you, in faith…

Henry VI, Part II: “As by your high imperial majesty…

Henry VI, Part III: “I wonder how the king escaped our hands…

Titus Andronicus: “Noble patricians, patrons of my right…

Henry VI, Part I: “Hung be the heavens with black! Yield, day, to night!…

Richard III: “Now is the winter of our discontent…

The Comedy of Errors: “Proceed, Solinus, to procure my fall…

Love’s Labour Lost: “Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives…

A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “Now, fair Hippolyta, our nuptial hour…

Romeo and Juliet: “Two households, both alike in dignity…

Richard II: “Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster…

King John: “Now say, Châtillon, what would France with us?…

The Merchant of Venice: “In sooth, I know not why I am so sad…

Henry IV, Part I: “So shaken as we are, so wan with care…

The Merry Wives of Windsor: “Sir Hugh, persuade me not, I will make…

Henry IV, Part II: “Open your ears; for which of you will stop…

Much Ado About Nothing: “I learn in this letter that Don Pedro of Aragon…

Henry V: “O for a muse of fire, that would ascend…

Julius Caesar: “Hence, home, you idle creatures, get you home!…

As You Like It: “As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion…

Hamlet: “Who’s there?…

Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on…

Troilus and Cressida: “In Troy there lies the scene. From isles of Greece…

Measure for Measure: “Escalus…

Othello: “Tush, never tell me! I take it much unkindly…

All’s Well That Ends Well: “In delivering my son from me I bury a second husband…

Timon of Athens: “Good day, sir…

King Lear: “I thought the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall…

Macbeth: “When shall we three meet again?…

Antony and Cleopatra: “Nay, but this dotage of our Generals…

Pericles: “To sing a song that old was sung…

Coriolanus: “Before we proceed any further, hear me speak…

The Winter’s Tale: “If you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia…

Cymbeline: “You do not meet a man but frowns. Our bloods…

The Tempest: “Boatswain!…

All Is True: “I come no more to make you laugh. Things now…

Two Noble Kinsmen: “New plays and maidenheads are near akin…

(If all the actors read at a comparable speed, then THE COMEDY OF ERRORS will finish first, take a bow and step back two paces. As each play finishes their reading, they should take a similar step back, forming a new line. HAMLET will be the final play to finish, and join the new line. Once all the plays are concluded, they BOW, and proceed offstage.)

CURTAIN.

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