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Halloween doesn’t need to be a one-man or one-woman show if you have a group of Shakespeare-loving friends! Here are a few suggestions for couples and group costumes inspired by the Bard for Halloween. Send us your ideas on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at @ShakespeareInDC.
Costumes for 2 people:
Romeo and Juliet from Romeo and Juliet
Portray Shakespeare’s most iconic lovers by wearing your best party clothes. After all, that’s where Romeo and Juliet met! Or, go for Zombie Romeo and Zombie Juliet and dress up as the lovers after they’ve offed themselves. Extra points for prop poison bottles, a dagger and a letter that gets lost halfway through the night.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern from Hamlet
There are no costume requirements for this duo as long as you and your partner are ok with betraying a friend. So, this is a perfect last minute “we didn’t know this was a costume party” costume.
Hamlet and Hamlet’s father from Hamlet
What Halloween costume is more classic than a ghost? (A sheet over your head with eyes cut out is acceptable). The other person just has to wear black and look terrified.
Viola and Sebastian from Twelfth Night
Do you love Halloween so much that you want a costume-within-a-costume? Then dressing up as Viola dressing up as her twin brother, Sebastian, may be the challenge for you.
Costumes for 3 people:
Valentine, Proteus and Crab from The Two Gentlemen of Verona
If you don’t already have access to a well-behaved pooch, you can play rock-paper-scissors to decide who gets to—or has to—dress up as the dog. Then, you just need two gentlemen.
The witches from Macbeth
You can go traditional with fake warts and pointy hats, or modern like our 2016 production. As long as you have three people who vow to make “double double, toil and trouble”, you can be the scary trio that sets the action of Macbeth into motion.
Costumes for 4+ people:
Everyone from Julius Caesar
You can argue about who’s Brutus and who’s Cassius, but really, this is just a more sophisticated way to reuse those togas from college frat parties.
Dromio of Syracuse, Dromio of Ephesus, Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus from The Comedy of Errors
Shakespeare loved twins, so why not have two sets of them? As long as no one hangs out with their twin in the same room as the same time, you’re all set.
The Rude Mechanicals from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Like the Village People, all the members of the Rude Mechanicals have their own vocation and personality. You’ll need Peter Quince, Snug, Nick Bottom, Francis Flute, Tom Snout and Robin Starveling for this complicated group costume. Make sure you get your late-night performance of Pyramus and Thisbe on camera – the worse the acting, the more likely to go viral on YouTube.
The fairies from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Just wear fairy wings with your favorite outfit – and recruit someone to be Bottom after he’s turned into a donkey.
Photo of Danaya Esperanza as Juliet and Sam Lilja as Romeo in Romeo & Juliet by Tony Powell.
Photo of Keith Baxter as Ghost and Michael Urie as Hamlet in Hamlet by Scott Suchman.
Photo of Ryan Spahn as Rosencrantz and Kelsey Rainwater as Guildenstern in Hamlet by Scott Suchman.
Photo of Paul Deo, Jr. as Sebastian and Antoinette Robinson as Viola in Twelfth Night by Scott Suchman.
Photo of Adam Green as Speed, Euan Morton as Launce and Oliver the Dog as Crab in The Two Gentlemen of Verona by Scott Suchman.
Photo of David Bishins, Tim Getman and Naomi Jacobson as the Witches in Macbeth by Scott Suchman.
Scott Parkinson as Cassius, Dan Kremer as Julius Caesar and Tom Hammond as Brutus with the senate in Julius Caesar by Carol Rosegg.
Photo of Carson Elrod as Dromio of Syracuse, Christian Conn as Antipholus of Ephesus, Gregory Wooddell as Antipholus of Syracuse and Carter Gill as Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors by Scott Suchman.
The cast of A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Scott Suchman.