Romeo and Juliet  Bake-Off

Inspired by Paula Vogel's "bake-off" exercise, the Huntington Theatre Company is hosting a bake-off play reading for a second year in a row – this time in honor of our upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet. This year's bake-off will be held on Monday, March 18 at the Avenue of the Arts / Huntington Avenue Theatre.   



But what’s a bake-off play?

A bake-off is a quickly-written play (usually no longer than 5 minutes / pages long) on an assigned theme – Romeo and Juliet for example – with assigned elements – like the mandatory inclusion of lovers – that folks write, traditionally within a 48-hour period of time. Once the play is written, it is tradition for people to come together in a shared space and hear the plays read aloud. Shakespeare's famous play was inspired by a poem, so really, it was a bake-off play too!

What elements do the plays have to include?

The bake-off plays must include all of the following, interpreted however you wish:

  • lovers
  • an ancient grudge
  • one beautiful person that only exists off-stage
  • murder
  • references to celestial bodies (e.g., sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.)
  • a balloon drop

For extra credit, choose only one of the following to include in your play:

  • a dagger
  • poison
  • a chorus-like prologue
  • references to a kind of mean, off-stage, fairy queen
  • an important letter that never arrives
  • a sonnet shared by two people

How do you participate in the Huntington's Romeo and Juliet Bake-Off?

  1. If you want to participate in writing a play and having it read on March 18 at the Huntington Avenue Theatre, please sign up. Sign up by 5pm on March 15. THERE WILL BE 20 SLOTS AVAILABLE FOR PLAYS TO BE READ THAT NIGHT. There will also be a handful of stand-by slots in case all 20 plays don’t arrive in time.
  2. On March 16 at noon, begin the 48-hour process of writing the play – in the true spirit of Bake-Off: don't start writing until that day (and don't worry about revising)!
  3. In order to accommodate performing 20 plays that evening, all plays must not be longer than 5 minutes long. If your play is longer, you can send us a 5-minute segment from the play that you'd like read.
  4. On March 18 by noon, please email your finished Bake-Off play to Any plays not received BY NOON will likely not be able to be read at the Huntington Avenue Theatre that night, as we'll need time to print them out and give them to the actors to QUICKLY look through. Also, if you finish your play before the deadline, please send it in then!
  5. There will be a diverse cast of 4 brilliant Boston actors available to read your play that night and there are no guarantees about which actors will be reading which roles. The readings will be at music stands. Part of the great fun and spontaneity of the event will be NO REHEARSAL and ALL INSTINCT – inspired by the immediacy of writing these plays. So get ready to write that play and turn it over to the spirit of the night!
  6. If you are interested in being in the audience to hear the plays, meet new artists, and cheer on your colleague, please reserve your seats.

A few reminders:

You do NOT have to be a professional playwright to participate in writing a play. This is a great opportunity to exercise your creativity in a friendly community setting.

A reminder to share this event on email, on social media, on your 10-minute break at rehearsal, at auditions, with your students, etc. The greater the diversity of voices, the more exciting and visceral the night will be.

Offer applause!

And do bake-offs. No bake-off is given criticism.

The Cast:

Lizzie Milanovich 
Stewart Evan Smith
Tom Grenon
Jade Guerra



© 2019 Huntington Theatre Company. All rights reserved | Trouble viewing this site? Please download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.