SparkNotes Blog

Shakespeare Plays That Still NEED to Be Set in High School

All aspiring playwrights know that you haven’t made it until Hollywood takes your play and adapts it into a movie starring teenagers. By that metric, no playwright is more accomplished than Shakespeare (also probably by most metrics). From Ten Things I Hate About You (Taming of the Shrew) to She’s the Man (The Twelfth Night), The Bard is truly the king of timeless tales relocated to a modern high school setting. And yet, much like the star of many a tragic play, I demand more, even if it doth defy the stars! That’s why I’ve come up with a list of romcoms and dramedies based on Shakespeare plays that I ask—nay—DEMAND be produced.

MacJeff (Macbeth): MacJeff is just wandering around school grounds after football practice one day when he sees some weird lights coming out the window of the science lab. Inside, he finds three Mitches (Mitch Balmer, Mitch Varney, and Mitch Bloomenfeld, all second semester seniors who have time to mess around with weird concoctions in the lab). They tell him that he’s destined to be captain of the football team. With the support of his girlfriend, Sadie, he locks Duncan, the current football team captain in the equipment closet. From there it just gets worse.

2 Fast 2 Tempest (The Tempest): While on a band trip chaperoned by his dad, Freddy Nand gets separated from everyone else after their bus runs out of gas. While wandering the island (the bus was one of those “duck tour” buses you take in cities with interesting harbors) he meets Miranda, a girl who has lived on the island almost her whole life with her father, former third party presidential candidate Ross Perot. Perot used his magic powers to make the bus run out of gas, in order to try and become the band chaperone himself.

Sam Let (Hamlet): Everything in Samantha Let’s life was going well until her dad was killed in mysterious circumstances. She wakes up in the middle of the night to find a podcast she doesn’t recognize has been downloaded on to her phone. It turns out it’s from her father and he tells her that her uncle killed him! She’s so upset that she breaks up with her boyfriend, whose sister posts unflattering pics of Sam on Twitter to get back at her. Now she has to take revenge by beating her uncle at a game of Trivia Crack. And then calling the police to have him arrested afterwards.

Caesar Salad (Julius Caesar): Julie struggled to work her way up to manager of the trendy salad place at the mall, but not everyone is happy about it. One day, right when she was getting ready to bring a salad she made to one of the customers, her fellow coworkers corner her and dump the salad out, one forkful at a time. Even her best friend, Brenda, participates, though she feels guilty right afterwards. Brenda apologizes to Julie and it’s totally fine, since it’s not like they stabbed her or anything, but they both lose their jobs anyway.

The Merchandise of Venice (The Merchant of Venice): While in Venice Beach for a Doctor Who convention, Anthony sees a Dalek statuette that he knows will win him the love of fellow Whovian Paula, who is cosplaying as Vastra. The only problem is he can’t afford it. He comes across Shilo, who everyone makes fun of because he doesn’t like the Tenth Doctor. Shilo loans Anthony enough money to buy the Dalek statuette, but warns him if he doesn’t pay it back, he’ll take a pound. Just a pound. He wants to start getting British currency so he can go to England and visit the set.

Which Shakespeare plays do you want to see time-hopped into 2016?