Austin Shakespeare Presents Short Shakespeare Performance

Austin Shakespeare is bringing “Short Shakespeare” to the Zilker Hillside Theater for a limited-time engagement, wherein four plays with five actors and two musicians will be showcased, completely free of charge from May 18 to May 21. Taking center stage are 20-minute renditions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, and Hamlet, which will be directed by Gwendolyn Kelso. This performance is set to offer something for everyone, as per the Austin Shakespeare Artistic Director Ann Ciccolella, who emphasized the unique opportunity as a perfect primer into the celebrated writer’s works for individuals who are yet to see Shakespearean pieces. Additionally, those familiar with Shakespeare’s oeuvre will be left amazed by the creative director’s clever visions and the actors’ and musicians’ artistry while culminating with dance.

Five actors will take on the challenging task of portraying all the characters in all four plays, while the designers promise an unforgettable visual spectacle. Patrick Anthony will oversee the sets and lighting as the resident designer, whereas Kristin Knipp will be responsible for imaginative costumes and Tressa Gilmer for stunning properties. New music crafted by Michael McKelvey and sound design by Kellie Baldwin aims to elevate immersion to the next level, providing a seamless auditory experience.

Isaac Howell, Wallis Brown, and Schaeffer Certenberg are all Texas State University theater majors, and Luke Ellis, trained at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama, London, hails from Shakespeare’s birthplace, Stratford on Avon, and is new to Austin. Isabelle Dickey, who received a BFA in Acting from Ithaca College, will also be making her Austin Shakespeare debut. All are incredibly gifted performers with the ability to bring these complex characters to life expertly.

Austin Shakespeare is a not-for-profit theatre company founded in 1984, dedicated to bringing classics, new plays, and education programs for all ages to Central Texas. It is noteworthy that Austin Shakespeare has brought the final World’s Fastest Hamlet to area schools for several years now, and the other three Shakespeare plays featured in this event have been adapted by Emily Lyon and Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, the innovative creators of “,” titled “One-Twelfth Night,” “Tiny Tempest,” and “Midsummer: Tedious & Brief.”

To conclude, this year’s installment of Short Shakespeare is not one to miss, as the critically acclaimed production’s cast, crew, and local supporters aim to bring together a thrilling and immersive event for all ages and Shakespeare fans alike. With expert direction, stellar performances, and unique adaptations of beloved works, the experience promises to be unforgettable, offering an evening of entertainment that surpasses the usual theatrical production.

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