The Rude Mechanicals present The Merry Wives of Windsor


Directed by Joshua Engel

Be creative! Characters are a collaboration between the director and the actor.

The overall theme of the show is 1977. If you can pick some stereotype or celebrity of that era, that would be a good starting point. A character may also have a theme song from the era (which may not actually make it into the soundtrack, but it's another source of ideas).

Sir John Falstaff
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk,
I'm a woman's man: no time to talk.
Music loud and women warm,
I've been kicked around since I was born.
And now it's all right. It's OK.
And you may look the other way.
We can try to understand
the New York Times' effect on man.
Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother,
you're stayin' alive, stayin' alive.
Bardolph, Pistol, Nym

Think of them as Freddy Washington, Juan Epstein, and Arnold Horshack to Falstaff's Vinnie Barbarino in that episode where they're all pissed at Barbarino because he didn't do Freddy's homework like he promised. If you remember that episode, I'm sorry.

Mistress Ford and Mistress Page
Ev'ryone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

Mrs. Ford and Page remember the sixties fondly. They majored in sociology where they believed everything that Margaret Mead wrote.

Ford, Gentleman Dwelling At Windsor
You walked into the party
Like you were walking onto a yacht
Your hat strategically dipped below one eye
Your scarf it was apricot
You had one eye in the mirror
As you watched yourself gavotte
And all the girls dreamed that they'd be your partner
They'd be your partner, and

You're so vain
You probably think this song is about you
You're so vain
I'll bet you think this song is about you
Don't you? Don't you?

Ford, on the other hand, tries not to remember the sixties at all.

Page, Gentleman Dwelling At Windsor
Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just donít seem the same
Actiní funny, but I donít know why
íscuse me while I kiss the sky
Fenton, A Young Gentleman
Gotta make a move to a
town that's right for me
Town to keep me movin'
Keep me groovin' with some energy

Won't you take me to
Mistress Anne Page, Her Daughter, In Love With Fenton
You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen
Dancing Queen, feel the beat from the tambourine
You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, dig in the Dancing Queen
Mistress Quickly, Servant To Doctor Caius
Go on now go walk out the door
just turn around now
'cause you're not welcome anymore
weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye
you think I'd crumble
you think I'd lay down and die
Oh no, not I
I will survive
as long as i know how to love
I know I will stay alive
I've got all my life to live
I've got all my love to give
and I'll survive
I will survive
Slender, Cousin To Shallow
Went to a party the other night
All the ladies were treating me right
Moving my feet to the disco beat
How in the world could I keep my seat
All of a sudden I began to change
I was on the dance floor acting strange
Flapping my arms I began to cluck
Look at me..
I'm the disco duck
Doctor Caius, A French Physician
Voulez-vous (ah-ha) Take it now or leave it (ah-ha)
Now it's all we get (ah-ha) Nothing promised, no regrets
Voulez-vous (ah-ha) Ain't no big decision (ah-ha)
You know what to do (ah-ha) La question c'est voulez-vous, Voulez-vous

Caius thinks that French really, really, really impresses the ladies. His accent isn't bad-French, Maurice Chevalier; it's more "Hey, baby, wanna meet me AH-pray SKEE?"

Sir Hugh Evans, A Welsh Parson
Everybody was kung-fu fighting
Those cats were fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightning
But they fought with expert timing

Shakespeare's text is written for a bad Welsh accent, but those jokes don't work any more. Try some other accent and see what you get.