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About the Playwright:
D.D. Delaney is an Equity Association actor who began his career in theater in 1979 as the principal writer of street theater skits protesting the abuses of the nuclear power industry following the nuclear accident at Three-Mile Island near Harrisburg, PA. His street theater troupe evolved into a performance company in Lancaster, PA, where he wrote, acted in, and helped produce a growing body of plays. He worked as an actor, writer, designer, director, and administrator with numerous companies in the Lancaster area, earning his Equity card in 1989 in the role of Dylan Thomas in A Child's Christmas in Wales, produced by Theater of the Seventh Sister, which he co-founded. He continued with Seventh Sister playing a variety of roles. In 1994 he moved to Norfolk, VA, where, he wrote and performed two one-man shows, The Lunar Project and The Holy Fool, at Second Story Theatre. He created four touring programs for Young Audiences of Virginia, including Shakespeare After School and Shakespeare: Playing for Laughs, both of which he performed with his wife, Jala Magik, in secondary schools throughout eastern Virginia. To date, his 33 produced scripts include eleven full-length plays, six one-acts, six plays for young audiences, three collaborations, and numerous skits for special occasions. Currently, Delaney lives by the Chesapeake Bay in the Ocean View subdivision of Norfolk with Jala and animal companions Myrrha the hound and cats Demi-Tasse, Chi, Luna, and Yin. No longer exclusively a theater drudge, he also works as a free-lance journalist for Port Folio Weekly.

Shakespeare After School
An Hilarious One Act for Two Characters
by: D. D. Delaney

About the Play:
Shakespeare After School features scenes from Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and Romeo and Juliet in an unusual format—as ornaments brightening the lives of two high school custodians. All ages will enjoy this 45-minute "play within a play," offering a peek into the secret life of stage-struck custodians Rudy Mahoney and Flo Berry, who—after school, pretend they are Shakespearean actors, passionately playing their scenes as they imagine "real actors" would do. They transform themselves into Lord and Lady Macbeth, Brutus and Portia, Caesar and Calphurnia, and Lord and Lady Capulet, the unfortunate parents of Juliet. When they discover they are being watched—by a group of students at an unannounced play practice—the embarrassed custodians must adapt by including their audience in several of their scenes, creating an interactive performance. Approximately the length of a standard class, Shakespeare After School can stand alone or, combined with its sequel, Shakespeare: Playing for Laughs, can serve as the first act of a full-length theatrical entertainment.

The Characters:
Rudy Mahoney
Flo Berry
These hilarious people must be portrayed by character actors who will make them their own!

The Scene: This play should take place on a stage, or at the front of a large classroom. The props and costumes reflect that magical transformation from School Custodial staff to Elizabethan Europe.

From The Play…
(Standing facing each other—Flo right, Rudy left—in front of table, they pick up cups and toast each other with stiff artificiality. Then, Rudy, as Macbeth, turns downstage. Flo resumes Lady Macbeth.)
Macbeth: You know your own degrees: sit down. 

(Pause. Rudy is staring at the audience. Flo soon sees what he is staring at and stares herself. Rudy shifts uncomfortably toward her.)

Rudy: Flo. There are a whole bunch of students out there, watching us.
Flo: I see them, Rudy.
Rudy: What are they doing here? 
Flo: I don't know.
Rudy: long have they been there? 
Flo: I don't know. 
Rudy: Wait a minute. They're here for play practice!
Flo: Play practice?
Rudy: I forgot all about it! It was a change in the schedule, Miss Schock told me yesterday. What're we going to do? We're caught red-handed!
Flo: Don't panic. Improvise. Maybe they'd like to play our royal guests at the banquet.
Rudy: Are you serious?
Flo: Why not? They're here, aren't they? They're actors! It could be worse. Let me talk to them. You set up some chairs.
Rudy: Well, okay, if you say so. 

(Rudy sets up six folding chairs around the upstage rim of the table, a bench along the downstage rim. Flo comes downstage to the audience and recruits volunteers—three males, three females—to fill the chairs. Rudy places them, a volunteer standing at each chair.)

Flo: Hey. Hi. You sure took us by surprise! So...what can I say? We're playing Shakespeare. It' a hobby we have. You know, like...karaoke, when you teach yourself to perform your favorite songs. Well, we want to play the banquet scene from Macbeth. And you could help. Could I have some volunteers to be guests at the royal banquet table? Yes, you, and you, and you. Thank you for volunteering! Come right up and have seats, here, here, you there beside him, that's it. Now, the rest of you, imagine that you're guests at this banquet, too. You see, the Mac Bees are throwing a big, important dinner party, the first one since they became King and Queen. They've got to make a good impression, just about every important person in Scotland is there—including one guest who definitely was not invited. And that makes you all witnesses to some very bizarre behavior.
(They begin the scene, as before.) 
Macbeth: You know your own degrees: sit down. 
(Volunteers sit in chairs. Flo-Lady Macbeth sits on bench.)
Macbeth: At first and last the hearty welcome.
Here had we now our country's honor roof'd,
were the graced person of our Banquo present;
who may I rather challenge for unkindness
than pity for mischance!
Lady Macbeth: His absence, lord,
lays blame upon his promise. Please't your Highness
to grace us with your royal company.
Macbeth: The table's full.
Lady Macbeth: Here is a place reserved, sir.
Macbeth: Where?
Lady Macbeth: Here, my good lord! 
(Macbeth stares in horror at Banquo’s ghost, seated invisible on the bench next to Lady Macbeth.) 
Lady Macbeth: What is't that moves your Highness?
Macbeth: Which of you has done this?
Lady Macbeth: What, my good lord?
Macbeth: (To ghost) Thou canst not say I did it! Never shake thy gory locks at me.
(Ghost vanishes. Macbeth, shaken, turns away.)

Shakespeare, high school, teens, comedy, 45 minutes

Shakespeare After School: A Small-Cast Comedy for Teens Featuring Scenes from Shakespeare

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