Shakespeare, Will

Joe Calarco

Full Length Play, Drama  /  10f, 1m

From the collection Signature in Schools Vol. I. Signature in the Schools uses theater to open the minds and broaden the viewpoints of local teens while engaging them in a positive creative experience.

Shakespeare, Will

by  Joe Calarco

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    10f, 1m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Students from an all-girls school accidently invoke a young Will Shakespeare. Finding that his conjurers know more about his work than he does, Shakespeare gains confidence that his destiny is to create immortal characters and reveal timeless truths. His doubting wife, Anne Hathaway, follows him into the future to challenge his aspirations, and in confronting her, young “Will” becomes the “William” of his dreams.
Shakespeare, Will was originally commissioned and produced in 2010 by Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia under the direction of Marcia Gardner.


Performing Groups
  • High School/Secondary

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £30 per performance plus VAT when applicable.



  • Setting: A high school classroom and stage of a high school theater.
  • Additional Features: No intermission


10f, 1m
Cast Attributes
  • Roles for Teens
NARRATOR - a pre-recorded female voice for the documentary that starts the play. Has a very standard British accent but with all the flourishes (ie: rolled R’s). Pompous and self-congratulatory. Think Masterpiece Theater. When heard later in the play the affectation is gone and the voice is quite mesmerizing in a bewitching way.
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (Goes by Will) - The world famous writer at the age of 18. Has many things to say and do and write, but isn’t quite sure how to say or do or write them yet. 
POPPI - A good student. Enthusiastic. She always tries to smile and be friendly, but it’s an effort because people don’t often live up to her expectations. VERY involved in school activities. She is definitely a glass half full personality… until things go wrong. 
KYRA - A natural observer. Wise beyond her years. A quiet strength that comes from necessity. Centered but always on the lookout, always searching. 
ALIX - Passionate. Has very strong opinions on most subjects. She is always ready for a debate. The personal (as well as everything else) is always married to the political in her eyes. She is counting down the minutes to graduation so she can start living the life she knows she’s meant to live.
CHLOE - Pretty and knows it. Not dumb at all and savvy enough to know that “pretty” can put you one step ahead of the pack in life, so she intends to cultivate that aspect of herself. 
CAT - Very smart.  An independent thinker. Aware of what is going on around her even if her head is always stuck in a book. Only speaks when it is necessary. Dry sense of humor. Probably not noticed that much in school except as that girl who is always reading in the corner, but when she graduates, she will probably take the world by storm. 
OLIVIA - Very practical. Doesn’t stand for bull from anyone. Can seem not interested and sometimes combative, but that’s really just the armor she wears. Don’t hurt someone she loves ‘cause she will take you down.
J.J. - Likes high school life. Popular. Clearly enjoys life in general. More going on inside of her than she lets out. 
TEESHA - A definite side kick to J.J. They are practically a team. A follower who should be a leader.
ANNE HATHAWAY - Shakespeare’s wife. 26 years old, so eight years his senior. Eight months pregnant. Can be shrewish, but that comes from her desperate love for her husband frustrated by his attention focused elsewhere. Very smart and very fiery which aren’t the ideal traits for a woman to have in the 16th century if she wants to find contentment. 




  • Shakespeare, Will Trailer

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Joe Calarco

Joe Calarco's published work includes in the absence of spring (inaugural production of Second Stage’s New Plays Uptown series, included in The Best Stage Scenes of 2004), Shakespeare’s R&J (Lucille Lortel Award), Walter Cronkite is Dead, and his short plays, Just A Little Sniffle and Parting Gifts. Other adaptations i ...

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