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.

Style: A contemporary examination of Shakespeare

Length: 50 minutes

Casting notes: Flexible cast options for a classroom context: four students could play the designated actors with additional students playing the Shakespearean characters.

Cast age: 12 to 16, 16 to 18

Audience age: teen, young adult

Publisher: Australian Script Centre