What if Shakespeare were a…..

He could have been so many things if theatre had not worked out for him!

What if Shakespeare……were a hipster drama student at a modern-day college in Canada?

Such is the premise of Blank Verse, a self-styled “Shakespeare Web Series” produced by Nik Nok Media. The show imagines how the bard would act, think, dress, and write if he came into his own as a playwright not on the boards of a 16th century London playhouse, but in the classrooms of Bankside University, a fictional present-day Canadian theatre school. Bard enthusiasts and history buffs alike will have a ball spotting the various historical figures that have been transplanted from Elizabethan England to a Canada-like present day: Christina “Chris” Marlowe is a best-selling novelist/Creative writing MA candidate, Elizabeth Tudor is the head of the Creative Writing Department at Bankside, Richard Burbage (one of the actor’s in Shakespeare’s company, The King’s Men) is a hard-partying undergrad, Benjamina “Ben” Johnson, is an overachieving highschooler enrolled in a Bankside class for extra credit. Will himself is an angsty twenty-something with a blog and a dream.

Now tell me that isn’t the darlingest thing to hit the internet since the last time your kitten did something cute and you caught it on your iphone just in time.

The first season aired in weekly installments from August to December 2013, and the team is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to launch their second season. If you are looking for a cute, quirky, and endearingly nerdy webseries to get into, look no further than Blank Verse!

The Shakespeare In Action Blog is Moving!

The time has come, my friends, to move the Shakespeare In Action Blog a bit closer to home.

Sad, I know, but it’s not like we’re leaving the internet for good! You can visit us at our new home:


We’ve got loads of new ideas for blog posts coming, including news and information about our upcoming shows, educational programming, and fundraisers! Bookmark our new page and visit us sometime! We are keeping this page up as well, so you will be able to access all of our blog posts of the past!

Away, away! Once more, sweet lords farewell.

What if Shakespeare was… on American Idol!


What if Shakespeare was on American Idol singing a heartbreaking love song for a place in the final?

If music be the food of love, play on, (play on, play on)

Give me excess of it (excess of it) [1]

For stony limits cannot hold love out, (cannot hold)

And what love can do, that dares love attempt [2]

The course of true love never did run smooth [3]


O my love! Here’s to my love (Oooooh my love! Here’s to my love) [4]

If thou canst / love me… I say to thee / that I shall die [5]

Take all my loves, my love, yea take them all (yea take them all, all, all) [6]

But love, for love, thus shall excuse my jade [7]

A lover’s eyes will gaze an eagle blind, / A lover’s ear will hear the lowest sound [8]


I love thee, I will not say pity me…

But I say, love me (But I say, looooovvve me) [9]

Canst thou love me? (Canst thou love me?) [10]

Most radiant, exquisite, and unmatchable beauty [11]

I love thee more and more: think more and more (think more and more) [12]


I have not art to reckon my groans;

But that I love thee best, O most best believe [13]

If thou dost love me [14] O joyful day! (joyful, joyful day) [15]

To say thou dost not [16] O, break my heart! (break, break, break)

Poor bankrupt, break at once! [17]


But I say, love me… [18]


In this city will I stay / And live alone and [19]

Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth [20]

Ay me!… and twenty times! Woe, woe / And twenty echoes twenty times cry so [21]


But I say, love me… [22]

For now my love… I know thou canst [23]


By Linda Nicoll



1          Twelfth Night I. i. 2-3

2          Romeo & Juliet II. ii. 916-17

3          A Midsummer Night’s Dream I. i. 140

4          Romeo & Juliet V. iii. 3037 & 65

5          Henry V V. ii. 3132-35

6          Sonnet 40, 1

7          Sonnet 51, 12

8          Love’s Labour’s Lost IV, iii. 1679-80

9          Merry Wives of Windsor II. i. 580-81

10        Henry V V. ii. 3176

11        Twelfth Night I. v. 464

12        Cymbeline V. v. 3498

13        Hamlet II. ii. 1216-18

14        Romeo & Juliet I. v. 943

15        Henry IV P II V. iii. 3539

16        All’s Well That Ends Well I. iii. 497

17        Romeo & Juliet III. ii. 1779

18        Merry Wives of Windsor II. i. 581

19        Henry VI P II IV, iv. 2570-71

20        Richard II III. ii. 1557

21        Venus and Adonis 855-6

22        Merry Wives of Windsor II. i. 581

23        Comedy of Errors II. ii 514 & 28

What if Shakespeare… won an Oscar?

What if Shakespeare won an Academy Award for Best Actor and gave an acceptance speech…

81st Academy Awards¨ Press Kit Images

Ay me! [1] every part about me quivers [2]. This poor heart of mine [3] trembling even at [4] the sound of [5] mine own name [6]. I have heard, but not believed [7], my thoughts are humbled all [8] as thou dost [9] surprise me to the brink of tears [10]. I humbly thank you [11]. Thanks my countrymen, my loving friends [12]. I thank my stars I am happy [13]. A proclaim’d prize [14] it is an honour that I have dreamed [15] of these many years [16].  For the nomination [17] hath so humbled me [18] and being a winner [19] by how much unexpected [20] carries beyond belief [21].

My son, quoth he [22], “if you have victory [23] speak the speech, I pray you, trippingly on the tongue” [24]. Methinks that [25] I am not able to [26]. I hath often dreamed of [27] certain speeches utter’d [28] in the looking-glass [29], but now I think [30] that strength of speech is utterly denied me [31] O, pardon me, my liege! But for my tears, / the moist impediments unto my speech [32].

But I prattle / something too wildly [33]. I will be brief [34].  To these great fellows [35] these competitors [36], let me commend thee first [37], the harder match’d, the greater victory [38]. The learned writer [39] not I, is the doer of this, and he is to be thanked [40] He hath made his masterpiece [41].

The sounds of music / creep in our ears [42]. Where should this music be? [43]. They desire to [44] cut me off [45]. They shouted thrice [46] “bid him make haste” [47]. Tarry a little, there is something else [48]. This player here [49] is truly honoured [50]. A thousand thanks [51] for mine [52] statue in pure gold [53].

Words by Shakespeare – rearranged by Linda Nicoll


1              Romeo & Juliet: I. i. 185

2              Romeo & Juliet: II. iv. 1316-17

3              Venus and Adonis: 523

4              Henry IV P I: I. iii. 473

5              Coriolanus: I. vi. 643

6              Two Gentlemen of Verona: I. ii. 279

7              The Winter’s Tale: III. iii. 1507

8              Titus Andronicus: I. i. 56

9              Julius Caesar: I. ii. 296

10           Timon of Athens: V. i. 2438

11           All’s Well That Ends Well: III. V. 1720

12           Richard II: I. iv. 647

13           Twelfth Night: II. V. 1192

14           King Lear: IV. Vi. 2844]

15           Romeo and Juliet: I. iii. 451

16           Henry VI P I: II. iii. 870

17           Love’s Labour’s Lost: IV. ii. 1283

18           Two Gentlemen of Verona: II. iv. 794

19           The Taming of the Shrew: V. ii. 2695

20           King John: II. i. 372

21           Anthony and Cleopatra: III. vii. 2031

22           The Taming of the Shrew: I. i. 508

23           King Lear: V. i. 3073

24           Hamlet: III. ii. 18

25           Two Gentlemen of Verona: IV. Iv. 1917

26           Timon of Athens: III. ii. 1060

27           Much Ado About Nothing: II. i. 720

28           Henry VIII: II. iv. 1542

29           The Winter’s Tale: I. ii. 192

30           Cymbeline: III. Vi. 2158

31           Henry IV P II: IV. v 3113

32           Henry V: IV. v. 3034-35

33           The Tempest: III. i. 1345-46

34           Hamlet: II. ii. 1186

35           Anthony and Cleopatra: II. vii. 1540

36           Anthony and Cleopatra: II. vii. 1459

37           Coriolanus: IV. v. 2912

38           Henry VI P III: V. i. 2670

39           Much Ado About Nothing: III. v. 1639

40           Twelfth Night: III. iv. 1627-28

41           Macbeth: II. iii. 838

42           The Merchant of Venice: V. i. 2509-10

43           The Tempest: I. ii 550

44           Love’s Labour’s Lost: V. ii. 2029

45           Henry IV P I: IV. iii. 2544

46           Julius Caesar: I. ii. 318

47           Two Gentlemen of Verona: III. i. 1332

48           The Merchant of Venice: IV. i. 2251-52

49           Hamlet: III. ii. 1624

50           Rape of Lucrece: 461

51           Henry V: IV. iv. 2429

52           All’s Well That Ends Well: V. iii. 2766

53           Romeo and Juliet: V. iii. 3275

What if Shakespeare…were STUCK IN TRAFFIC?

The two hours traffic of our stage: (1)

Like captives bound to a triumphant car – / What! shall we curse the planets of mishap / That plotted thus..? (2) Traffic confound thee, if the gods will not! (3)

O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels (4) – that same wicked bastard…that was begot of thought, conceiv’d of spleen, and born of madness! (5)  Under your hard construction must I sit (6) I’ the midst o’ the body, idle and unactive (7).

I am arrested in the street (8) creeping like snail / Unwillingly (9).  Beyond the bounds of patience (10) Men all in fire walk up and down (11), stand in narrow lanes / And beat [their] watch (12).  Sorrow snares relenting passengers (13).

The horn, the horn, the lusty horn / Is not a thing to laugh to scorn (14).


1)    Romeo & Juliet, Prologue

2)    Henry VI, I; 1.1

3)    Timon of Athens, 1.1

4)    Much Ado About Nothing, 3.4

5)    As You Like It, 4.1

6)    Twelfth Night, 3.1

7)    Coriolanus, 1.1

8)    Comedy of Errors, 4.1

9)    As You Like It, 2.7

10)  Henry IV, I; 1.3

11)  Julius Caesar, 1.3

12)  Richard II, 5.3

13)  Henry VI, II, 3.1

14)  As You Like It, 4.2


Shakespeare re-arranged by L.I.

What if Shakespeare…HELD A PARTY?


Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies! (1) Cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast (2). With all my heart (3) and for your delight (4), [I shall play] the humble host (5).

Come, the table’s full, be large in mirth (6). Here is a place reserved (7), for anon we’ll drink a measure the table round (7). Give me some wine. Fill full! (8) I drink to the general joy o’ th’ whole table (9). [Let us] feed on nourishing dishes (10): [Here’s] a couple of short-legged hens, a joint of mutton (11), and dates and quinces in the pastry (12). [Have some] rice (13), dates, and warden pies (14). [Or maybe] four pound of prunes (15)…stewed prunes (16). Nay, I jest! I jest! [As I am] a fellow of infinite jest (17). Let’s be red with mirth (18).

Sweet friends (19), ‘tis a night of revels! (20) How shall we beguile the lazy time if not with some delight? (21) What dances shall we have to wear away this long ago of three hours between our after-supper and bedtime? (22) Now let’s have a catch (23) of dancing shoes with nimble soles (24). Come, some music! Come, the trumpets, sackbuts, psalteries and fifes, tabours and cymbals (25), sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not (26). A hall, a hall, give room! – And foot it, girls. More light, you knaves! And turn the tables up, and quench the fire. The room is grown too hot! (27)

Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times (28), ’tis too late to go to bed now (29). For it is a way to make us better friends, more known (30). [I thank thee for thy] jest (31) and continual laughter (32).

  1. Romeo and Juliet, I. v. 14
  2. The Comedy of Errors, III. i. 27
  3. Richard III, III. iv. 34
  4. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, V. i. 109
  5. Macbeth, III. iv. 4
  6. Macbeth, III. iv. 48
  7. Macbeth, III. iv. 49
  8. Macbeth, III. iv. 92
  9. Macbeth, III. iv. 93
  10. Othello, III. iii. 78
  11. Henry IV part 2, V. i. 23
  12. Romeo and Juliet, IV. iv. 2
  13. The Winter’s Tale, IV. iii. 39
  14. The Winter’s Tale, IV. iii. 47
  15. The Winter’s Tale, IV. iii. 49
  16. Henry IV part 1, III. iii. 40
  17. Hamlet, V. i. 161
  18. The Winter’s Tale, IV. iii. 63
  19. The Merchant of Venice, II. vi. 21
  20. Othello, II. iii. 29
  21. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, V. i. 40-41
  22. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, V. i. 34-35
  23. Twelfth Night, II. iii. 17
  24. Romeo and Juliet, I. iv. 15
  25. Coriolanus, V. iv. 3784
  26. The Tempest, III. ii. 136
  27. Romeo and Juliet, I. v. 32-33
  28. Twelfth Night, II. iv. 7
  29. Twelfth Night, II. iii. 166-167
  30. The Winter’s Tale, IV. iii. 74-75
  31. Henry IV part 2, V. i. 78
  32. Henry IV part 2, V. i. 74

(Shakespeare re-arranged by Vineeta)