Austin Shakespeare presents Short Shakespeare

For one weekend only, Austin Shakespeare is bringing Short Shakespeare to the Zilker Hillside Theater. Featuring four plays with five actors and two musicians, Short Shakespeare will be performed free at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 18-21.

The four Shakespeare plays include 20-minute versions of: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet. Gwendolyn Kelso will direct all four comedies.

Austin Shakespeare Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella said Short Shakespeare will offer something for everyone. “If you’ve never seen Shakespeare, these four cheerfully adapted plays share their comedic spirit will be a great introduction, especially for families who love to picnic,” she said. “And those who love these works will be amazed by the cleverness devised transformations of these talented actors, musicians and their creative direction which climaxes with dance!”

Five actors will portray all the characters in all four plays. Isaac Howell has performed with Austin Shakespeare in the last year in both Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing and Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. Wallis Brown and Schaeffer Certenberg are both majoring in theatre at Texas State University. Born in Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford on Avon, Luke Ellis, who trained at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, London, is new to Austin. Also making her Austin Shakespeare debut is Isabelle Dickey who received a BFA in Acting from Ithaca College.

Designers include resident designer Patrick Anthony for vivid sets and lighting, Kristin Knipp for imaginative costumes, Tressa Gilmer for amazing properties, new music by Michael McKelvey, upbeat sound design by Kellie Baldwin.

The final whirlwind of World’s Fastest Hamlet has been brought to area schools by Austin Shakespeare for many years. The other three Shakespeare plays were adapted by Emily Lyon and Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, creators of titled “One-Twelfth Night,” “Tiny Tempest” and “Midsummer: Tedious & Brief.”

Copy and image courtesy of Austin Shakespeare

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