Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fun Friday (on Wednesday): A Redneck Balcony Scene

This was one of the assignments I gave my Shakespeare class: to rewrite a scene in a different time and place, to show the students how setting influences character.  As usual, I wrote a "sample" to give them an idea, and my son and I dramatically read it (with me on a ladder as our "balcony").

A Redneck Love Story  Act 2, Scene 2 

In the hills of Tennessee outside Capulet’s two-story log cabin.

ROMEO:  Well, lookie there!  It’s a light in yonder winder.  But Juliet’s so bright she don’t need no sun.  She’s my woman, but she jest don’t know it yet.  Lookie how she leans her cheek on her hand.  Yessirree, Bob, I’d shore like to be a glove on that thar hand!

JULIET:  Ah, swanee.

ROMEO:  She’s a talkin’.  Can’t quite make it out.  Say somethin’ else, why don’tcha?

JULIET:  Romeo, Romeo, why in tarnation is yer name Romeo?  Deny yer kinfolk and get yourself a new name.

ROMEO:  Should I keep my trap shut or say somethin’ now?

JULIET:  It’s only yer name that causes this here fussin’ and feudin’.  You are yer cornpoke self, not a Montague.  What’s in a name, anyhow?  What we call a mess o’ greens would taste just as good if we called it hog waller.  Romeo, toss yer name in the creek and take all o’ me!

ROMEO:  (Coming forward)  Sure enough, honey lamb!  Jest call me “lover boy” and I’ll change my name to Festus or somethin’.

JULIET:  Jumpin’ Jehoshaphat!  Who’s out there?

ROMEO:  Since you hate my name so much, I wish it was writ on a piece o’ paper so’s I could tear it up.

JULIET:  I know yer voice.  Ain’t you Romeo, and a Montague?

ROMEO:  Not Romeo.  Not Montague neither, since you hate them names so much.

JULIET:  I’m shore glad you can’t see me blushin’ jest now.  Do you love me more than coon huntin’?  I know you’re a gonna say yes.  And you already heerd me say that I love you. 

ROMEO:  Sweetcakes, I swear by yonder moon—

JULIET:  Oh, don’t swear by the moon!  It don’t stay the same.  Don’t swear by nothin’.  This is happenin’ too fast.  Goodnight, and next time we sees each other, our tadpole of love will grow into a bullfrog.

ROMEO:  Are ya gonna leave me with my tongue hangin’ out?

JULIET:  What in tarnation are ye talkin’ about?

ROMEO:  I love you.  You love me.  Cain’t we jest lay our cards out on the table?

JULIET:  Well, I do love you more than coon huntin’.  More than shoofly pie, even.   (Nurse calls from within the cabin)  I’m a-comin’!  Stay here and I’ll be right back.  (Exit Juliet)

ROMEO:  She makes me feel happier than a tick on a coon dog!  A really fat tick!

JULIET:  (returning) Just a little more and I really better git.  If you really want to get hitched, I’ll send someone to you in the mornin’ to find out what time and who’s gonna do the hitchin’.  Then we can git ourselves outta this here feud and build our own cabin somewheres.  (Nurse calls)  I’m a comin’!  But if yer just messin’ with me, then git outta here and leave me to cry myself to sleep.  (Nurse calls again)  I said I was a comin’!  Good night!  Sleep tight!  Don’t let the bedbugs bite!  (she exits)

ROMEO:  I must be dreamin’.  If I is dreamin’, I shore don’t wanna wake up!

JULIET: (returning)  Psst, Romeo.

ROMEO:  Yes, Honeydew?

JULIET:  What time tomorry should I send my messenger?

ROMEO:  How ‘bout nine?

JULIET:  Okey dokey.  It’ll feel like twenty years ‘til then.  (pauses)  I cain’t remember why I called you back.

ROMEO:  I ain’t in no hurry.  I’ll jest wait ‘til you remembers.

JULIET:  I’d be happy as a dead pig in the sunshine if you stayed all night, but I don’t want nobody to find you and fill you full a’ holes.  So goodnight!  Sayin’ goodnight is so hard to do I wish I could jest keep sayin’ it ‘til the sun came up.  (exits)

ROMEO:  I hope you can sleep, ‘cause I shore don’t think I can close my eyes.  I better go find Brother Rastus and see about gettin’ hitched.  (exits)


  1. I love this. What a great way to connect with students.

    1. Thanks! It was one of my favorite classes to teach. :)