An exploration of Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice for secondary students.

Trick or Treat examines illusion and reality in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night and The Merchant of Venice. Things aren't always what they seem. Are the characters who they say they are? Do they want what they say they want? Are the villains really villains or are they misunderstood? Who lies under the masks worn in both plays? These questions and more are explored by Four Actors as they examine key scenes in both plays. They enter the scenes and reveal the complexity within them. They examine Shakespeare's language in detail focussing on rhythm and meter as well as meaning. Character's motivation is assessed as is the three dimensionality of Shakespeare's characters. As well as this there is an investigation of gender and racial politics in the plays.

This script was originally developed as part of a series, for Bell Shakespeare’s Actors At Work programme, performed between the years 2005 – 2011. Ned Manning would like to acknowledge the following people for their involvement and contribution to the development of these scripts: John Bell, Matt Edgerton (Director and dramaturg), Marion Potts (Director), John Sheedy (Director), Christopher Hurrell (Director), Naomi Edwards (Director), Damien Ryan (Director), Wayne Blair (Director), Sean O’Shea (Director) and the many actors who performed the plays around Australia.

  • a contemporary examination of shakespeare
  • 50
  • 0 total
  • 12 to 16, 16 to 18
  • teen, young adult
  • Australian Script Centre


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