The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)


Writers: Jess Winfield Adam Long Daniel Singer


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Comedy, Parody, Farce
Simple/No Set, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
Present Day
Cast Size
Ideal for
fringe festivals, high school, college / university theatre, regional theatre, College/University, Community Theatre, High School, Regional Theatre, Small Cast, Professional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult characters


How on earth can three actors do the impossible: act through Shakespeare’s entire canon --37 plays-- in 97 minutes? By summarizing the canon through football games, rap songs, and outrageously condensed, comedy mash-up titles (like "Four Weddings and a Transvestite") of course! The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) hilariously summarizes all of Shakespeare’s plays, using reduced re-enactments and audience participation. It is famous for holding the (self-proclaimed) record for the shortest production of Hamlet at 43 seconds (as well as the fastest performance of Hamlet....backwards (42 seconds!). An extremely popular play that ran in London for nine years and has enjoyed countless productions in various languages playing throughout the world, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) entertains and teaches audiences facts about Shakespeare, while ensuring them a rollicking good time.

Editor's Note: While this is a summary of character types that are written in the script, the authors stress that The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) is a highly improvisational piece and the actors can change things according to their personalities, contemporary popular references, and/or the nature of the target audience.

Lead Characters

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) guide sections