This is probably cheating for my nanowrimo alternative since I actually wrote this content for something else, but here is my creative project for a Shakespeare class, which was due today.
Dear Mr. Shakespeare,
We at the Shrewsbury Actors’ Guild simply adored your latest production Twelfth Night: Or What You Will. We liked the story so much in fact, that we are writing to ask your permission to perform this delightful comedy for our semi-annual townhall meeting. However, we would also like your permission to make some changes. In fact, we would be infinitely grateful to you for rewriting the one or two requisite scene changes as our resident poet is nowhere near on your level of excellence. As you have so graciously requested feedback in the subtitle of your lovely comedy, we feel that it is not too impertinent of us to bring these things to your attention.
There is one tiny issue that has truly galled the mayor of our little Shrewsbury: can there really be a woman as a main character? Even when played by a boy, while wonderfully egalitarian of you, it is a tad gauche for the stage at this time. Instead, it is the belief of our mayor, and the members of our guild, that the main character should in fact be Sebastian, the brother of Viola, who takes rather a backseat in the play as written. Instead of Viola dressing as a man, which is both uncouth and unbelievable, Sebastian should disguise himself as a woman and enter the employ of the Lady Olivia who is attempting to woo the recalcitrant Duke Orsino. After all, homoerotic scenes between men are far more tempting to an audience of superior taste than those same scenes between two women, as we are sure you are well aware. This slight change to the character prominence will provide fantastic opportunities for slapstick comedy, which while present in the original, could certainly be improved upon.
In addition, we could not help but feel for the disdained Sir Andrew Aguecheek. We would dearly like to know what becomes of him after the unfortunate renunciation by Sir Toby as he seems to disappear at that point. Surely in a comedy with so many other marriages going on it would be possible to procure a lady for this gentleman, as well. Perhaps Maria has a sister? We will of course leave the lady’s identity to your superior discretion, but it seems quite unfair that Sir Andrew is the only character left alone by the end when he shows so many admirable qualities.
One last difference we would appreciate seeing is an alteration of the final exit for Malvolio. A man of such moral rectitude and stoic good character which he displays prior to this incident suggests that the head steward would be much more likely to turn the other cheek and forgive the transgressors, as any truly good Christian would. Instead, he runs away in a huff, screaming that he will have revenge. This is no way for a gentleman of his station to act. Perhaps the scene could be rewritten to correctly shame the conspirators by showing them how a person of solid moral fiber should react.
These are just a few suggestions that our guild has compiled for your reading pleasure. Please do reply as soon as possible, and if you are able, please send along the requested changes, as well. We are so excited to begin working on our production of your glorious comedy.
Messrs. Woodcock, Beardsley, et al.