A Shakespearean Tale Details Page

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Script and songs by S.A. Cranfill                     ©Family Friendly Productions LLC

A Shakespearean Tale Vocal Samples 
Will Shakespeare is His Name[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/WillShakespeareisHisName_Sample2.mp3] The Typing Pool[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/TheTypingPool_Sample.mp3]
Imagine[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Imagine_Sample.mp3] Go Down Yonder[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/GoDownYonder_Sample.mp3]
A Mother’s Song[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/AMothersSong_Sample.mp3] A Good Word or Two[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/AGoodWordorTwo_Sample.mp3]
A Few Good Words for Mr. Shakespeare[audio:http://familyfriendlyproductions.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/AFewGoodWordsforMr.Shakespeare_Sample.mp3]

 DESCRIPTION – Musical Romantic Comedy (7 Songs)

This is a rollicking, fanciful, and charming tale about a mysterious lost manuscript that journeys from 1600s London to 1955 New York City and Stratford Corners, Alabama. It features quite a number of “tails!” For older viewers, it will be nostalgic. For younger viewers, it will be educational. For everyone, it will be a whole lot of fun! In our own productions, the cast had as much fun as the audience. And they all learned just how often they unknowingly quote Shakespeare! See our BLOG entries and pictures under this category, and our music videos.

This is a story about the power of words, whether in a play, a song, or a conversation, and the effect of “a good word or two.” Macbeth & Macbeth, the largest law firm in New York City, shows an unusual interest in the lost manuscript. Why are they interested? What will they find? And what happens when a powerful, big-city family meets the people of a charming little town in 1955 Alabama?

This musical has the potential to satisfy the imaginative professional or provide an entertaining public highschool production, or fit into the abilities of a church group or homeschool co-op drama class.

BOOK VERSION in EBOOK or PRINT – reading through the book with the cast is a very effective and enjoyable way to introduce them all to the story and the characters. The narrative description will help the director convey how the characters should be played. We did this for our first production. A younger brother (10) of a female cast member did not want to participate in the play until he listened to the story as we read it and he decided he liked it. Not only did he end up playing two parts, he became one of our best actors in three other musicals over the next two years.

FREE PREVIEW OF SCRIPT EXCERPT:

TO PREVIEW THE PREVIEW SCRIPT EXCERPT FOR FREE:   Preview Scripts

GROUP/AUDIENCE SUGGESTION:  Any public or private high school or junior high, homeschool group, church group, college production, community theater, amateur or professional.

AGE RANGE:  Ideal for a mixed cast featuring high school and/or college-age and/or adults with younger actors from ages 6 to 14. Requires 20 actors from at least middle school to high school (or college or adult), and 10 actors to play younger mice and kids, but that’s with doubling a number of roles. (Everyone has lines.)

CAST SIZE:  Around 30 with doubling and tripling roles, and many roles are easily doubled. Minimum of 9 guys (7 older and 2 from 10 to 12 or so years old). Minimum of 13 older girls with 8 younger girls. Could accommodate over 60 cast members without any doubling.

PRICE ESTIMATE:  About $375 for a one-performance production, about $525 for a 3-performance production. Actual prices on Shopping Page.

LENGTH:  About an hour and a half, or an hour and 40 minutes, depending on how fast you do your scene changes. We went about 2 hours with a 20-minute intermission for refreshments, etc. (Sell those concessions!)

SCENERY & PROPS:  5 major scenes and 5 scene changes: from Shakespeare’s house, to London docks, to New York law office, to Alabama gas station, to Grandpa’s house, and back to gas station.

Shakespeare the Dog is the biggest prop! We transformed a huge, Costco stuffed bear. List is on the Director’s Script, including desks and chairs and gas cans and barrels and boxes and porch “swing” and rocking chair. We made a water cooler, gas pumps, and some barrels and boxes out of cardboard.

SONGS:  7 fantastic songs (if we do say so ourselves) ranging in style from English traditional to Broadway to ballad to swinging, fiddling, foot-stomping country. Two of the songs are featured on our music videos.

Lead sheets available with chords and chord chart.

We encourage live music! (But provide prerecorded if you need it.) Song keys may be changed and introductions and arrangements adjusted to your singers and musicians.

MP3 files:  Vocal rehearsal and instrumental accompaniment tracks.

MUSICIANS/INSTRUMENTS SUGGESTED:  (If possible)

  • Keyboard
  • Rhythm Guitar
  • Bass, if possible (stand-up bass would be great!)
  • Fiddle if at all possible
  • Mandolin would also be a great addition

The show could be scored for a full band or orchestra. Let us know if you want to help us do that! We hope to do that in the future.

 DIRECTOR’S SCRIPT & NOTES:  Includes cast profiles and costume suggestions; set, prop, and staging suggestions and production notes.

 ACTOR’S SCRIPT:  For actors and technical crew.

 COPYING FEE:  This fee is required and allows you to make the copies you need of all your rehearsal materials.

VIDEO RIGHTS:  Note there is a $30 Video Rights charge for this script. Restrictions listed in Terms & Permissions still apply.