Do you want to put on a performance of Romeo and Juliet, but don’t have the time or resources to produce the entire play? This abridged version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was professionally edited by a former Oregon Shakespeare Festival actor/educator. The one-hour script features original dialogue interspersed with narration. This maintains the integrity of the play while significantly shortening it-making it easier for groups to perform.
Similar versions of abridged Shakespeare can sell for $15 to $100 or more depending on royalties. On Drama Notebook, it is part of your membership and there are no royalties if there is no admission for performance.
Excerpt from the play:
PRINCE ESCALUS-Prince of Verona
SAMPSON-servant to the Capulet’s
GREGORY-servant to the Capulet’s
ABRAHAM-servant to the Montague’s
BALTHASAR-servant to the Montague’s
LORD CAPULET-Juliet’s father
LADY CAPULET-Juliet’s mother
LORD MONTAGUE-Romeo’s father
LADY MONTAGUE-Romeo’s mother
MERCUTIO-Romeo’s best friend and the Prince’s cousin
PARIS-a suitor to Juliet
SERVANT (PETER)-of the Capulet house
FIRST and SECOND WATCH(MEN)
(Enter PRINCE ESCALUS, as the CHORUS.)
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuance of their parents’ rage,
Which, but their children’s end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours’ traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. (Exits)
Verona. A public square.
(Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, of the house of CAPULET; armed.)
Gregory, I strike quickly, being moved.
But thou art not quickly moved to strike.
A dog of the house of Montague moves me.
To move is to stir; and to be valiant is to stand:
therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn’st away.
A dog of that house shall move me to stand.
The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.
‘Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant.
Draw thy tool! here comes two of the house of the Montagues.
(Enter ABRAHAM and BALTHASAR, of the house of MONTAGUE; armed.)
My weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.
I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list.
Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them;
which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.
(As Abraham and Balthasar pass by, Sampson bites his thumb at them; an insulting gesture.)
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
I do bite my thumb, sir.
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
SAMPSON (Aside to GREGORY)
Is the law of our side, if I say ay?
No, sir, I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I
bite my thumb, sir.
Do you quarrel, sir?
Quarrel sir! no, sir.
If you do, sir, I am for you: I serve as good a man as you.
Yes, better, sir!
Draw, if you be men!
(They fight, briefly. Enter BENVOLIO, of the house of MONTAGUE; armed.)
Put up your swords; you know not what you do.
(Beats down their swords. Enter TYBALT, of the house of CAPULET; armed.)
What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds?
Turn thee, Benvolio, look upon thy death.
I do but keep the peace: put up thy sword,
Or manage it to part these men with me.
What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word,
As I hate all Montagues, and thee:
Have at thee, coward!
(They fight. Angry CITIZENS gather in the street, around them. General hubbub and shouting.)
(Enter CAPULET and LADY CAPULET from one side of stage, and then MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE from opposite side.)
What noise is this? Give me my long sword!
A crutch, a crutch! why call you for a sword?
My sword, I say! Old Montague is come,
And flourishes his blade in spite of me.
Thou villain Capulet,— Hold me not, let me go!
Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe!
(Enter PRINCE, with Attendants)
Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbour-stain-ed steel,—
Throw your mistemper’d weapons to the ground,
And hear the sentence of your moved prince!
Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word,
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturb’d the quiet of our streets;
If ever you disturb our streets again,
Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.
For this time, all the rest depart away!
You Capulet; shall go along with me:
And, Montague, come you this afternoon,
To know our further pleasure in this case,
Once more, on pain of death, all men depart!
(Exeunt all but MONTAGUE, LADY MONTAGUE, and BENVOLIO)
Who set this ancient quarrel new abroach?
Speak, nephew, were you by when it began?
Here were the servants of your adversary,
And yours, close fighting ere I did approach:
I drew to part them: in the instant came
The fiery Tybalt, with his swordprepared,
While we were interchanging thrusts and blows,
Came more and more and fought on part and part —
Till the prince came, who parted either part.
O, where is Romeo? saw you him to-day?
Right glad I am he was not at this fray.
Away from the light steals home my heavy son,
And private in his chamber pens himself,
Shuts up his windows, locks far daylight out
And makes himself an artificial night:
Black and portentous must this humour prove,
Unless good counsel may the cause remove.
My noble uncle, do you know the cause?
I neither know it nor can learn of him.
Have you importuned him by any means?
Both by myself and many other friends!
See, where he comes: so please you, step aside;
I’ll know his grievance, or be much denied.
Come, madam, let’s away.
(Exeunt MONTAGUE and LADY MONTAGUE)
Is the day so young?
But new struck nine.
Ay me! sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
Not having that, which, having, makes them short.
Out of her favour, where I am in love.
O brawling love! O loving hate!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?
No, coz, I rather weep.
Good heart, at what?
At thy good heart’s oppression.
Why, such is love’s transgression!
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears:
What is it else?
Farewell, my coz.
Soft! I will go along;
An if you leave me so, you do me wrong.
ROMEO Tut, I have lost myself; I am not here;
This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.
Tell me in sadness, who is that you love.
In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman.
And, in strong proof of chastity well arm’d,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharm’d.
She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow
Do I live dead that live to tell it now.
Be ruled by me, forget to think of her.
O, teach me how I should forget to think.
By giving liberty unto thine eyes;
Examine other beauties.
Farewell: thou canst not teach me to forget.
I’ll pay that doctrine, or else die in debt.
(Enter CAPULET, PARIS, and SERVANT)
But Montague is bound as well as I,
In penalty alike; and ’tis not hard, I think,
For men so old as we to keep the peace.
Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity ’tis you lived at odds so long.
But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?
But saying o’er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world;
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.