The Good Veronican

  • Cast Number: 25
  • Run-time: 90 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Luke 10:29-37

An act of kindness transforms the grim destiny of two great families.
Combining the Good Samaritan and Romeo and Juliet.
For more information on the author click here.

Please contact the author for additional information, nigeandsue@internode.on.net

Cast Information:
Approximately 12 male, 4 female, 9 may be male or female
Several roles could be combined

Cast:

Montague Camp
Romeo
Montague (William)
Lady Montague
Benvolio
Mercutio
Abraham
Balthasar

Capulet Camp
Juliet
Nurse
Old Capulet (Roger)
Lady Capulet
Tybalt
Sampson
Gregory

Tragedian
Town Mayor
Guest 1
Guest 2
Other guests (As many as are practical or possible)
Friar Laurence
Hoodlum leader
Gang of hoodlums (at least 2)

Set A picture tells a thousand words so I have made available with this script some pictures that detail how I imagined the set design.
Of special note: the play utilizes scrim. This is a cloth screen that the audience can see through when there is lighting behind it. When lighting is on the front of the cloth, the audience cannot see through it.
This play is designed for Dinner Theatre and the audience’s table area is all part of the extended stage.

Lighting Some special lighting will be needed for this production. This is due to the use of scrim. For more details, see the information under ‘Set’.

Sound Depending on the size of the audience, lapel microphones may be needed. But, I believe where possible, natural voice projection leads to a more authentic performance.

Costumes Whether you make the costuming in traditional Shakespearian dress or choose to modernize it, I think it is important to keep the outfits from the 2 houses very distinct from one another. For the Montague Family, I envisage sandy brown costumes with a bronze eagle emblazoned across the back of the shirt. For the Capulet family, I imagine blue costumes with a cursive ‘C’ on the back. Set colours and distinctive attire for the 2 houses will ensure that the audience easily follows who is a Montague and who is a Capulet.

Props see script for full listing

Scenes
Scene 1 Introduction by the Tragedian
Scene 2 A civil brawl
Scene 3 Mayor’s chambers
Scene 4 Romeo’s blues
Scene 5 The Capulet party
Scene 6 Balcony scene
Scene 7 Unexpected help for Tybalt
Scene 8 Friar Laurence is consulted
Scene 9 A peaceful resolution
Scene 10 Marriage and pizza

A very complete set of instructions as to set and special notes is provided in the script

Sample of Script:

Scene 1

[Street Scene]

Tragedian walks through the audience

Tragedian Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
(Pointing out the Capulet’s shop front)
The Capulets, fine bakers you’ll agree,
As pastry chefs, they truly are the cream.

(Pointing out the Montague shop front)
The Montagues , no lesser famed ‘round here,
Likewise in food their talent surely lies,
In smallgoods and that continental gear,
For this my palette and my gut now cries.

“But why are we gathered?”, I hear you ask.
(The scrim is suddenly backlit to reveal Romeo and Juliet in an embrace of death.)

From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes

(Pointing out the 2 shop fronts)

A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.

Look at them in death’s throes, and oh so young. (Drinking in the destruction) So full of potential…..cut short, snuffed out. The delicate bud of youthful love, trampled under crushing prejudice and blind hate. (He goes up to a member of the audience) Doesn’t it just make you weep? (Goes toward Romeo and Juliet) The heartache of it!

“So why did it end in such tragedy?” I hear you ask.
You’ll witness the fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,
And the continuing of their parents’ rage,
Which, but for their children’s death, none could remove.

He looks around him with satisfaction, knowing his job is done. He begins to walk off through the audience. The scrim is no longer back lit.

Tragedian (Musing) This is a grim business indeed. (To the audience) It took death to bring an end to the fighting. Do you understand?

He walks off.

Scene 2

[Street Scene]

Enter Abraham and Balthasar, workers for the Montague family. They are carrying platters of smallgoods as finger-food for the tables.

Abraham (Laughing) You won’t hear the end of it!

Balthasar (Trying to convince) Oh come on, won’t be like that.

They both notice the people sitting down at the tables

Abraham But Balthasar, we had better get to serving. These folks look ravenous!

Balthasar We’re the hunger busters. Wait till they’ve tasted our prepared meats…

Abraham And cheeses, and…

Balthasar Olives (He eats one off the platter) Mmmmm, tastes good!

Abraham Balthasar!

Balthasar quickly finishes the olive and hides the pip in his pocket, then wipes his mouth.

Balthasar (Sheepishly) Quality control?

Abraham Get to it.

They start handing around platters of smallgoods and also serviettes with the Montague logo on them (which is a bronze eagle). Everything is jovial and they are working overtime to win the crowd’s approval. The following dialogue is included to give some indication of what could be said:

Dialogue “I see you eyeing off the olives. They were grown on Mr Montague’s estate.”
“Finest quality smoke-cured meat, with just a hint of spice.”
“The range of cheese will make your mind boggle :
Camembert, Edam, Swiss, Blue Vein…..we’ve got it all covered.”
“I see you like it…..as well you might. The Montague family do things differently.”

Balthasar (Observing people eating) Just look how they’re hogging in to the food! (Ribbing the audience in a fun manner) And I thought these lot were filled with social etiquette!

Abraham To be honest, they are more filled with cheese and salami.Balthasar Just remember, where you see the eagle fly, Montague smallgoods are nearby.

Abraham (Shaking his head) Corny, but effective.

Enter Sampson and Gregory, workers for the Capulets. They are enraged that Abraham and Balthasar are distributing food.

Sampson Insult to injury. I can hardly believe my eyes!

Gregory We no sooner turn our backs and they’re here. Old Capulet will fume!
(Calling) Mr Capulet! (He runs off through the door of the bakery)
Abraham What have we done wrong? (Appealing now to the crowd) Just letting them taste our boss’ goods, right everyone?

Abraham and Balthasar try to rally support from the crowd. Sampson goes around screwing up and throwing all the Montague serviettes. The battle is on to win the audience. Abraham and Balthasar hand out more Montague serviettes as Sampson continues to try and destroy them.

Enter Gregory with Old Capulet, Lady Capulet and fiery Tybalt. Lady Capulet stands back and is horrified by the commotion.

Old Capulet (Pompous and aloof) You dogs dare serve your muck at my tables?

Balthasar Muck? I’ll have you know…

Tybalt Hey, don’t talk, just walk! Pick up yer platters and get lost! (He grabs Balthasar by the collar and looks like he is about to deck him)

Enter Benvolio and Mercutio

Benvolio What’s all the commotion?

Mercutio Should have known that Tybalt, would be involved! (He rushes over and frees Balthasar, then he begins to fight with Tybalt).

Benvolio (Pleading) Part fools! Put up your hands; you don’t know what you are doing.

Mercutio and Tybalt keep shoving each other around. Enter Montague and Lady Montague. Lady Montague is distressed by the fight.

Montague (Addressing Old Capulet) Ahh, I’ve found the eye of this storm. The very picture of mild innocence, yet wherever you go, disruption attends.

Old Capulet No, but a storm brews when hot air rises, forming dark clouds. Would that you could shut your mouth!

Enter the town Mayor who is uptight

Mayor Break it up, break it up. (Looking embarrassed he addresses the audience) Verona is usually such a peaceful place. (To both camps) But I am exasperated by you rebellious citizens, enemies to peace! Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word have three times disturbed the quiet of our streets. I will see you both (indicating Old Capulet and Montague) tomorrow in my office at midday. Depart, depart!

The 2 families depart to their shops, with looks that are full of wrath.

Scene 3

[Office Scene]
The mayor is sitting behind his desk, writing. Old Capulet knocks and enters.

Mayor Come in and take a seat Robert. (He gestures for him to sit in one of the available chairs.)

Montague then knocks and enters.

Mayor Just have a seat. (He likewise gestures for him to be seated next to Old Capulet.)

Montague (Offended) Being in the same room as him is bad enough. Would you now have me sit beside him?

Mayor (Pressing his temples as if he has a headache) Grow up William! I’m not exactly thrilled at the prospect of adjudicating between two shortsighted hotheads, who seem intent on a fight regardless of my counsel.

During this time, both Montague and Old Capulet both glare at each other and appear restless.

Mayor (Crossing his arms for a moment and observing their resentment) What a festering mess. (Brimming with anger) Try not to tear each other apart! (He resumes his paperwork and finally finishes)

Mayor (Getting up, he walks around to the other side of his desk and perches himself on the corner of it) I want to cut straight to the chase. What will it take for there to be peace in Verona?

Both Montague and Old Capulet have heads bowed, avoiding the question

Mayor (Firmly) I asked you gentlemen a question.

Montague (Suddenly smirking) You think we can just spill out our hate and then there will be an end to it?

Mayor (Thinking for a moment) It’s my hope that you can turn aside from your folly once you have been able to air your grievances.

Old Capulet Pain rekindled will only burn the hotter.

Montague It is true. If you tear off this scab, you’ll not be able to stop fresh blood from flowing. (Looks murderously at Capulet)

Mayor (Clasping his hands together with mock pleasure) So finally you both agree on something. (Montague and Capulet both look puzzled, and the Mayor continues angrily) That nothing can be done to end this absurdity!

Montague I have lost enough at his hand. I will not now, not even for the sake of peace, lose my dignity by forgiving and forgetting.

Old Capulet (Smirks to himself) Huh!

Mayor (Growing weary of it all) You have something to say Robert?

Old Capulet (Addressing Montague) So you were wronged…..how many years ago? Suck it up; that’s business.

Montague (Glaring at Old Capulet) You will get what’s coming to you. I’ve built a smallgoods empire, and it grows stronger by the day. (Waves his hand dismissively at Capulet) Yes, I know that Smallgoods isn’t your bag. But all the same, it will sicken you to see my bronze eagle flying on banners over every café in Verona.

Old Capulet You’re no match for me.

Montague Wait and see.

Mayor (Breaking in on the bickering in exasperation) Is there nothing that can be done to end this brawling?

Montague (Ignoring the mayor) You’re not going to be the only success story in this town!

Mayor Gentlemen! (The Mayor gets up to quell the growing tension)

Old Capulet (Shoving the Mayor aside, he comes menacingly close to Montague and speaks mockingly to him) I’m trembling in my boots Will.

Mayor Gentlemen! (then screaming) Robert, William! (They both stop and look at him). I warn you that if there is no end to this fighting, I’ll personally shut you both down. (Fuming) Now GET OUT!

He pushes them to the door and shuts it behind them. He returns to his desk, shaking his head as if perplexed with what to do about the problem.

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