Shakespearean Plays

Abridged scripts of Shakespeare's works. 

Resources for Teaching and Performing the Bard


 Welcome to the English Class in Performance website. Here, you will find abridged versions of Shakespeare's plays, edited and with added stage directions in order to be easily performed or studied by a high school English class. They are free to use and distribute subject to the liscence given at the bottom of the page.

Learning by Doing

The story of English Class in Performance begins with one man and his revolutionary way to help students understand Shakespeare. The man was Brian Whitmore, of Spectrum Community School, of Victoria, BC, and his method was to take his students out of the classroom and into the school theatre, and have them plan, rehearse and perform the play (with props, lighting and full costumes) over the course of about two and a half weeks. Their final performance was videotaped for posterity. I learned this method from him during my practicum year, and was astonished at the energy and enthusiasm the students put into it -- and the enjoyment and understanding they took out out of it.

There was only one catch with Mr. Whitmore's method: he really only had one script, a copy of Romeo and Juliet that was written for children, and ran about forty minutes. After teaching this script, I realized that it might be useful to have similar creations for other plays commonly done in high school. I searched around for other scripts of this type, but found them prohibitively expensive. The combination of student poverty and free time over the holidays came together, and thus the English Class in Performance series was born.


The Plays

Each of these are edited, abridged versions of the original plays and run from thrity to about forty-five minutes. They consist entirely of Shakespeare's original dialogue with the addition of stage directions and cues to help performers interpret the lines. 

The plays below are all in .PDF format. To read them, you need Acrobat reader, which you can download free here


Terms of Use

Creative Commons License

This page and the works contained in it are copyright. The works are intended for use in a school classroom. They may not be used for commercial purposes and may not be altered without the author's permission.  The English Class in Performance works are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Canada License.


I accept comments and submissions of new material to add to the resources. Contact webmaster here.