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These Violent Delights

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by Jonathan Josephson
with apologies to William Shakespeare

2018-19 City of Pasadena
Arts Commission Award Winner

World Premiere Readings:
Carrie Hamilton Theatre at Pasadena Playhouse
Feb. 13, 2019

Theatre West
Feb. 20, 2019


It's three days after the demise of Shakespeare's star-crossed lovers; Verona is in mourning, Benvolio and Rosaline are heart-broken... but the two schemers have a plan. They've independently procured magical elixirs from Apothecary with hopes of bringing their beloveds back to life. But when they accidentally double-up their dosage, something goes wrong... horribly, deliciously wrong. Now it’s up to Friar Laurence, Juliet’s Nurse, Shylock of "The Merchant of Venice," and Beatrice of "Much Ado About Nothing," and a whole lot of Balthasars to right the world again


Even though most of these characters are described with specific ages and genders, in the grand Shakespearean tradition, they can be played by actors of any age or gender identity. Similarly, the ages are merely a starting point. Also, the play requires a minimum of 12 actors and should have an ensemble of at least 4-5 additional actors, but it can support a Zombie Horde of dozens.


Juliet's NURSE of Romeo and Juliet (50s, F)

A bawdy servant, her pain has released her inhibitions.

Friar LAURENCE of Romeo and Juliet (50s, M)
A conceited man of the cloth, burying his pain.

SHYLOCK of The Merchant Of Venice (40s, M)
​A lapsed moneylender, reluctant convert to Christianity.

BEATRICE of Much ado About Nothing (30s F)

An intelligent, headstrong woman - now living her truth.

Supporting Characters:

ROSALINE of Romeo and Juliet (14, F)
A passionate young woman, headstrong, love-struck.

BENVOLIO of Romeo and Juliet (16, M)
A determined young man, married by lustful.

ROMEO of Romeo and Juliet (16, M)

A dashing young man. Dead. Poisoned, it would seem.

JULIET of Romeo and Juliet (13, F)

A lovely young woman. Dead. Stabbed, it appears.

BALTHASAR(s) of Romeo and Juliet, The Merchant of Venice, and Much Ado About Nothing (18, M)

A servant in the service of Friar Laurence, and/or Portia, and/or Don Pedro.

IAGO of Othello (29, M)
A jailed traitor; longs for death.

APOTHECARY of Romeo and Juliet  (Any age, M)
An experimenter and schemer. Ultimately takes responsibility.

INNKEEPER (Any age, and gender)
Doubles as a bartender

TOUGHS #1 and #2 . (Any age, and gender)
Cockney roughnecks

JAILOR (Any age, M)

Recently deceased, big bellied man with the key.


The BEAR of The Winter's Tale

A bear,

Tullus AUFIDIUS of Coriolanus
A Roman general.


THE HORDE (Any, All)
Countless Veronese citizens - recently turned undead.

Suggested Doubling


Tough #1/Apothecary

Tough #2/Iago/Bear


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