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Award-winning Playwright Makes Shakespeare Compact for Today’s Audiences

Award-winning Playwright Makes Shakespeare Compact for Today’s Audiences

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Do you have four hours to spare for Shakespeare’s Hamlet?

Compact Shakespeare

“If Shakespeare’s plays were to be staged in their complete form, a number of them will run for around four hours,” says Dr. Joem Antonio, an Assistant Professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P). That would’ve been fine for audiences back in Shakespeare’s era, when the options for entertainment were quite limited. The audiences of today don’t have the luxury of time.

Compact Shakespeare

Joem Antonio

Hence, many of those who stage Shakespearean plays remove lines—even entire scenes—to mount a show that’s two hours long. But in the 21st century, even two hours sounds like an eternity for a play that isn’t a hit musical. A full-length play also takes a lot of resources to produce. That’s why, despite Shakespeare being the greatest playwright of all time and his works remaining free for all to stage, the common man’s exposure to the Bard’s plays is in the form of script readings, classroom excerpts, and movie adaptations. This means that his stories aren’t appreciated in the way they were meant to be consumed.

Compact Shakespeare

King Lear

Dr. Antonio wants to bring onstage Shakespeare to more performers and audiences. As a teacher of Literature and Theatre Arts, he knows that the Bard’s insights on man are best appreciated together with the theatricality that Shakespeare was a genius at. So, along with his students, he has abridged Shakespeare’s plays and are staging them at UA&P. They’ve made the plays shorter and more mobile by only deleting lines, so the scripts remain 100% Shakespeare in terms of plot and language. Dr. Antonio has named this project Compact Shakespeare.

Compact Shakespeare


His group of volunteers will stage compact versions of Shakespeare’s four great tragedies, namely, Macbeth, Hamlet, Othello, and King Lear in October and November 2016. Audiences will see all four plays in one show. The shows will be held at the Telengtan Hall of UA&P.

Those who want to stage Compact Shakespeare scripts are welcome to do so, after securing the proper permission. Interested parties may visit their website at www.compactshakespeare.com and go through the available scripts. Some of the abridgments are by Dr. Antonio’s students, but most are his own.

Compact Shakespeare


It’s not that Dr. Antonio doesn’t write original plays. He has won seven times at the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards, five times for plays and twice for children’s short stories.This year, his play about Jose Rizal’s love for Leonor Rivera, The Floret Road, got the First Prize in the Full-length Play in English category. The Floret Road was staged after dinner at the awards night. How could his full-length play have fit into the schedule? Of course, Dr. Antonio abridged it.

Compact Shakespeare


Show schedule

October 14 (Fri) at 8PM and 15 (Sat) at 5PM
October 28 (Fri) at 8PM and 29 (Sat) at 5PM
November 4 (Fri) at 8PM and 5 (Sat) at 5PM
November 12 (Sat) at 5PM


Telengtan Hall, 5F APEC Communications Building (ACB)
University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P)
Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines

Ticket prices

Showdates Walk-in rate
(Paid at the venue on the day itself)
Pre-registration rate
(Paid through the UA&P Accounting Office or BPI before the showdate)
October 14 (Fri) at 8PM and 15 (Sat) at 5PM ₱200 (all tickets) ₱170 (all tickets)
October 28 (Fri) at 8PM and 29 (Sat) at 5PM
November 4 (Fri) at 8PM and 5 (Sat) at 5PM
November 12 (Sat) at 5PM
₱300 (all tickets) ₱250 (regular)
₱230 (UA&P Alumni Cardholders)
₱200 (students)
₱170 (UA&P scholars)
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