Before I tell you anything about my playscript Much Ado About Soup, you need to promise me something. Do not, under any circumstances, let my English professor from twenty-five years ago hear about this, okay? Because this is the man that–upon knowing what I did to one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays–would promptly stand up from his wheelchair, grab his cane, and come after me. Because my old professor loved, adored, and revered William Shakespeare. And anyone who didn’t believe that the Bard was an absolute, unquestionable, awe-inspiring genius got kicked out of class with one flutter of his hand. He had no time to suffer such fools.
But here’s the thing. I adore Shakespeare, too. I just like to make fun of him, that’s all. He’s like having that friend who excels at everything and gets perfect grades and is always coming up with something especially wise to say, and all you want to do is tease him…mercilessly. Take the plot of Much Ado About Nothing. It’s a brilliant story of love and friendship getting muddied up by betrayal and misunderstanding. It’s so brilliant and perfect that I immediately thought, why not just make the main characters vegetables? Let’s have Potato in love with Rosemary. And Garlic can be his sarcastic best friend. And let’s throw in some villainous vegetables, too: Cabbage, Radish, Turnip, and Mushroom. In other words, I turned into a complete middle schooler. Silly, sarcastic, slightly obnoxious…while still feeling deep affection and respect for greatness, of course.
I wrote my Shakespearean spoof Much Ado About Soup for a middle school teacher who needed a script that would accomplish the following: have some fun with Shakespeare, be easy to stage and costume, and could be used as a fundraiser to establish a school community garden. I never imagined I’d ever have a playscript with “Onion” as a main character, but life is full of surprises. And it was so much fun to see a collection of middle schoolers and their teachers perform the play together. You haven’t seen anything till you’ve seen a middle school history teacher dressed up as a giant head of garlic on stage and proclaim, “Love stinks!”
So it’s true, Professor. I channeled my inner middle schooler, and wrote Much Ado About Soup. I stirred in lots of positively ridiculous puns and goofy characters, and I’m sure I have deeply offended William Shakespeare’s number one fan. But you’ll still, like, be my friend, right?
To read a sample and/or purchase the playscript, please click this link: Much Ado About Soup. And to transform it into an easy fundraiser involving (what else?!) SOUP, check out my Shakespearean Supper section of the fundraiser play ideas on my website.