Where did the idea of this adaptation come from?

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By Germana Maciocci

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Shakespeare has been part of my story since I was very small. Reading and studying his plays and going to theaters to watch them coming to life before my eyes, at different periods of my life, and the endless considerations and the imagery evoked by “his” words, constitute only a part of the enrichment that comes from the continuous discovery of how Shakespeare’s plays really are the mirror to the world, influencing my thoughts every day, and, more than once, some important decision in my life.

If I try to remember in particular what inspired me to pick up a notebook and a pencil to undertake a rewriting of Twelfth Night for children, immediately a long telephone conversation between me and my best friend Laura Vitali springs to mind. Laura and I hold studies and professional careers in common, and share a passion for Elizabethan theater.

I remember that, while we were talking with great excitement about a project which really had come into our minds at the same time, that is, to adapt a Shakespeare’s play to be acted by children, I was lying on my stomach on the double bed. Too busy talking as I was, I did not notice that, in the meantime, my son Daniele, who is nearly ten years old now, had taken possession of my pen, and was drawing endless blue ink doodles on the yellow sheets.

I did not tell him off for such an artistic call for attention, probably because I was enjoying too much chatting with my best friend about one of our favorite subjects, and then I thought at that moment, what the hell, dry cleaners were invented for a purpose after all, weren’t they?

Today, after nearly six years, and many machine washings, my yellow sheets are free from all traces of ink, and a little bit faded. Spotless, and even more vivid from that phone call with Laura, is my desire to spread the word of Shakespeare, even among younger children.

I am perfectly aware of the fact that any of my contribution is and always will be only the smallest drop in the ocean of Shakespeare’s studies, but I keep on trying because I strongly believe from the bottom of my heart, that the many opportunities offered by an active involvement in the analysis and staging of Shakespeare’s works can offer so much, when any participant has the opportunity to exchange a personal view on stories and feelings which, even if just pretended, can certainly enhance anyone’s sensible evolution.

I therefore hope that this Italian adaptation of Twelfth Night, I am humbly offering to anyone who would like to perform it, will be useful to both adults and children, helping them to create their own little world of joy and emotions together.


La dodicesima notte – Adattamento per ragazzi dell’opera di William Shakespeare by Germana Maciocci is a self-published book available on your favourite online store, both in e-book and paperback editions.


Cover by Valentina Marinacci, songs translated by Laura Vitali. Script edited by Rita Charbonnier and published with the help of her editorial services agency Scrittura a Tutto Tondo.


© 2014 Germana Maciocci
All right reserved


The views expressed in this post are the author’s own.

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Germana Maciocci was born in Rome, Italy, where she lived until 2003 when she moved to Casale Monferrato in the North of Italy. She’s married and has two children. English language and literature, especially Shakespeare, has been a personal passion of hers since she was very small. She holds a B.A. in English Language and Literature at La Sapienza University of Rome (2001). Her thesis was on Coriolanus. She loves writing, reading, swimming and recently started to practice Karate.

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