Don't Mention Shakespeare!

Creator: debra b cutshaw
Age rating: Everyone
Shakespeare's First Folio publisher and friend, Henry Condell, inadvertently time travels from 16th century London and brings romance to a heartsick Anglophile in Reno, Nevada in 1999.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: On June 12, 1999, when Deidre Hemmings meets Henry Condell, a stranger who admits to being stranded from Elizabethan London, she reluctantly tries to help him. At first, Deidre, a graduate student in English, believes that her friend, Lisa, is playing a joke on her due to Henry's matching name from the printing of Shakespeare's first folio, and also from his dress, a likely costume from the Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. But, after quizzing him and seeing his distraught manner, she agrees to help him. Subsequently, both girls think that he must be a professor with amnesia due to his expert knowledge of Shakespeare. But when Henry becomes ill, Deidre shelters him; afterwards deciding to take him to a hypnotist to jar his memory. That proving unsuccessful, the girls confide in Lisa's boyfriend, Joe, a detective, to discover missing person reports, to no avail.
Soon, Deidre finds herself emotionally attached to Henry because of a recent hurtful divorce. Henry, unable to return home, faints when Deidre shows him a paperback book of Shakespeare's First Folio which lists Henry's name. When Deidre later begins to show feelings for Henry, he mysteriously vanished from her apartment. He indeed returns home to Elizabethan London, barely remembering his comatose time travel, the result of a lightning strike. However, he accidentally leaves behind an embroidered handkerchief which Deidre treasures.
When Deidre becomes heartsick, Lisa tries to cheer her by manipulating a date with a mysterious British man who appears to be friends with her older neighbor, Professor Keith Lloyd. Deidre becomes interested in the stranger, and the girls pleasantly stalk H. Howard Campbell, to determine his address. Professor Lloyd is first to realize what the girls are doing, and encourages Howard, a long time bachelor, to pursue Deidre. Since both Deidre and Howard have experienced past hurtful relationships, their romance moves slowly. After becoming serious, Henry suddenly appears on Deidre's front door steps. She confides in Lisa, and begins to become more attached to Henry, which angers Lisa who thinks she is jeopardizing her romance with Howard. After their fight, Deidre decides to take Henry to the homeless shelter. When Howard attempts to see Deidre, he happens to see Henry sitting in her car, and mistakenly believes that he is another lover. Afterwards, Howard's cold behavior forces Deidre to tell him about Henry's story which the girls do not believe. Realizing that she is in love with Howard, Deidre relates their professor with amnesia theory to him, and all seems resolved. While she is looking a t a photograph of Howard's great grandmother, she notices a neatly folded embroidered handkerchief nearby which resembles the one Henry left. When Deidre asks about the handkerchief, Howard replies that it once belonged to a relative of his maternal great grandmother, mentioning that it belonged to the 16th century Elizabeth Smart, the wife of Henry Condell, a friend of Shakespeare. Deidre faints and awakens in the hospital with an attentive Howard, while a happy Henry finds himself re united with his loved ones in 16th century London. Months later, Deidre and Howard are happily married in the year 2000, and Lisa and Joe become engaged.

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  • Script 1 - debra's Original Draft
    Creative Notes:
    My focus is on the romance, not time travel. The characters briefly think that the upcoming millennium might make time travel possible, but dismiss the stranger as a professor with amnesia.