National Shakespeare Youth Festival Guidelines: Group and Duologue Scenes

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Step Two: Casting and Planning

After you’ve chosen a scene, the next step is casting: choosing who plays what. If you’re doing a duologue this will be pretty easy, but it is still a good idea to read the scene a few times, switching roles, to see who fits where, and who wants to play what.  Remember, great moments occur when actors take risks, and move beyond their comfort zone.  You are also free to edit scenes however you like.  If there are more actors than roles, feel free to break a role into smaller pieces… if there are more actors than roles, have someone double up, or combine two parts into one.  If you’ve chosen a very long scene, you can make it shorter by cutting out dialogue, parts of speeches or even entire characters.  Just make sure you have a reason for every change that you make, and that the piece still works after all your cuts!

Now that you’ve chosen a scene and assigned the parts, you can decide how you want to present everything. You can be as creative as you like with this step. Do you think Romeo and Juliet would be more exciting if it were set in space? What about a modern-day version of Macbeth – what would the modern witches look like? Would there be a prime minister instead of a king? Shakespeare’s plays were written hundreds of years ago, but they’ve been adapted by many different people. There are versions of Taming of the Shrew and Midsummer Night’s Dream set in high schools, operas based on the plays, and even an animated film of Romeo and Juliet starring garden gnomes!

Show us your originality and creativity!

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