creative shake spear


Believe it or not, Shakespeare did not intend for his plays to be read in classrooms (or online!) without any vocal or dramatic interpretation.  These great works are meant to be seen and heard, and it is often much easier to understand what is happening if you can see the characters, listen to their words and watch their actions, reactions and interactions.

We are presenting you with an opportunity to interpret Shakespeare individually or in groups, depending on your circumstances and preferece.  How will we do this?  Behold – Sixty Second Shakespeare!

Sixty Second Shakespeare is a teaching tool that allows students to have a little fun with the text and also demonstrate their comprehension and creative expression.  You are required to choose one act or one scene from the play and come up with an original script, in your own words, that captures the essence of it in 60 seconds. Once you’ve got your script, you can decide how you want to produce it. We are giving you the chance to show us your acting chops so let your imagination get to work!

Exemplar: Please click on the link below for a video submitted from a previous ELA 30-1 student who chose Act I, Scene 1 from King Lear.

Please follow these 10 steps in order to complete this assignment:

  1. Decide if you want to work individually or in groups.  The maximum number of students in a group depends on the number of characters in the Scene or Act you have chosen, but we would recommend keeping the group to four students or fewer.  You may also choose to use family members or friends in your production, as long as this is cleared with your instructor.
  2. Choose a Scene or an Act from the play that you think is particularly interesting, important, or entertaining.
  3. Condense your chosen section into an audio or video file that will be roughly sixty seconds in length (it doesn’t have to be exactly sixty seconds but should be shorter than two minutes).
  4. Figure out what the highlights of your scene are.   Focus on these moments and decide how you are going to let the audience know that these are important moments.  You may use sound effects and/or music if you like.
  5. Write your script and include all dialogue and stage directions. You are being asked to come up with an original project so avoid copying from a modern translation you have found elsewhere and please avoid using inappropriate language.
  6. You do not need to speed up the action but you can if you like.  Just be sure that if you choose to do so, your words must still be perfectly clear and understandable.
  7. Decide if you are going to create an audio or video file.  If it is a video file, find costumes and props if necessary.
  8. Assign a director to the group.  Other individual roles you may consider assigning include:  stage manager, voice coach, props master, costume designer, makeup artist, sound engineer, and cinematographer.  Some roles may be shared by one person, or two people may share a role.
  9.  Rehearse your chosen scene at least five times before making a final copy.  Complete your final version and upload it to the Dropbox under “Sixty Second Shakespeare Presentations.”


You will need to spend several hours writing, directing and producing your piece so please make sure you schedule your time accordingly.


You have TWO decisions to make for this project.

  1. Decide if you are working alone, with a partner, or with a group.  You can use the Discussion Board under “Sixty Second Shakespeare Groups” to post if you are looking for a group or need group members.  It is not mandatory to work with others but it can be a lot of fun.
  2. Decide if you are producing a video or an audio file.  Instructions for creating each one are given below.


You may produce a video or an audio file.  Please submit the assignment in one of the following formats:

Video:  QuickTime (.mov), or .wmv.  If you work on a Windows computer, you will likely use MovieMaker to produce your video.  Please export the file from MovieMaker in a compressed format (around 340 kbps).  If you work on a Mac, you will likely use iMovie.  Please use the “web” export setting.

Audio:  Please submit your audio file as a .wav or .mp3.  Use the same process as for the Poetry Assignment #9.  Please email your instructor if you have questions.

Submit Your Assignment

Please submit your completed presentation, including your original script, to the Sixty Second Shakespeare Presentations folder in the Assignments tool.  Include the first and last names of all members of your group.


         $10 per 275 words - Purchase Now