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Pre-History of Stolen Shakespeare Guild


The Stolen Shakespeare Guild started out as a student project and master thesis project at Texas Woman's University. Then in 2006 was reorganized by Jason and Lauren Morgan, Stefanie Glenn and Will Grimes into the company that you see today. The following are pictures and articles about the productions we performed before the company was re-organized and moved to Fort Worth. With out the help of all who participated in these productions the Stolen Shakespeare Guild would not exist today and this page is meant to celebrate all the hard work that went into these productions. Special thanks goes to Texas Woman's University, Artisan Center Theatre, and Lewisville Community Theatre for helping us get started.


The First Production

The Condensed Shakespeare Festival

The List, Fort Worth Star Telegram

WHAT IS GOING ON IN TARRENT COUNTY

"Summer" and "Shakespeare" are practically synonymous in Texas.Unfortunately, "short" and Shakespeare" are not. Until now, that is. Artisan Center Theatre and the Stolen Shakespeare Guild come together to present the "Condnsed Shakespeare Festival," something that sounds more interesting than a straightforward production of any of the Bard's full-lenghts. Here you get a shortened, gender-bending version of As You Like It, Tom Stoppard's 15-Minute Hamlet and George Bernard Shaw's Dark Lady of the Sonnets, about a romantic meeting between Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. Performances are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the theatre inside North Hills Mall, 7624 Grapevine highway, Suite 900 in North Richland Hills.

AS YOU LIKE IT by William Shakespeare

THE COMPANY
Meagan Swiney ................................................ Rosalind
Brian Brissman ...................................................Orlando
Lauren Morgan ...................................................... Celia
C.J. Meeks .............................. Oliver, Amiens, William
Jason Morgan ............................. Touchstone & Adam
Esther Selgrath ........... Audrey & The Duchess Fredrick
Terry Yates ............................... Banished Duke & Corin
Dan Burkarth ...................................... Jaques & Charles
 

Directed by Jason Morgan

 

Celia and Rosalind

  Oliver and Orlando

Rosilind, The Duchess, and Celia

 
Jaques: "All the worlds a stage..."   Orlando
 
Celia and Rosilind (Ganymede)   Touchstone, Audrey, and William

DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS by George Bernard Shaw

The Company
Jason Morgan ...................... William Shakespeare
Esther Selgrath ........................... Queen Elizabeth
Terry Yates ...................................... The Beefeater
Meagan Swiney ..... The Dark Lady of the Sonnets
 

Directed by Sasha Truman-McGonnell

The Dark Lady

Queen Elizabeth and Shakespeare

The Dark Lady: " Your Majesty, I am of all ladies most deject and wreched."

Shakespeare: "At last sorrow has struck a note of music out of thee!"

Shakespeare: "God Save The Queen!"

THE FIFTEEN MINUTE HAMLET by William Shakespeare

The Company

Brian Brissman .................................................... Hamlet
Lauren Morgan .................................................. Ophelia
Terry Yates ..... Francisco, Osric, Gravedigger, & Horatio
Dan Burkarth ............. Fortinbras, Ghost, & The Players
C.J. Meeks ....... Marcellus, Bernardo, Laertes, & Horatio
Jason Morgan .......... Shakespeare, Claudius, & Polonius
Meagan Swiney ................................................ Gertrude
Michael Boyd ....................... Ye olde sound effects man
 

Directed by Jeff Winkler

"Alas, Poor Yorick"

"What, frighted with false fire?"

"Ophelia is Dead!"

"A hit, a very palapable hit!"

"Our sometime sister now our queen"

Festival is quick Shakespeare fix

Mark Lowry

Star-Telegram Staff Writer



Meagan Swiney, top left, Ester Selgrath and Lauren Morgan star in the Condensed Shakespeare Festival at Artisan Center Theatre.

The great George Bernard Shaw was often critical of stagings of Shakespeare's plays. In an 1895 review of Two Gentlemen of Verona, titled "Poor Shakespear!" he wittily wrote about the production's "glaring defects and blunders." Shaw probably would have gotten a big kick out of the intentional blunders of The 15-Minute Hamlet, penned many decades later by another talented dramatist, Tom Stoppard. This extremely shortened version of the Bard's greatest tragedy uses all of the play's best-known lines ("Cruel to be kind," "To be or not to be," "The play's the thing," etc.) to tell the story in only 13 minutes. In the final two minutes, the entire play is recreated again. It is loving satire at its finest, and of course, funniest to spectators who know Hamlet's plot. Actually, you might not even need to know the story well to thoroughly enjoy the Stolen Shakespeare Guild's staging of 15-Minute Hamlet, part of the Condensed Shakespeare Festival at Artisan Center Theater's in-the-round space. A Texas Woman's University student project, the festival also features Shaw's short Dark Lady of the Sonnets, about a battle of the egos between Queen Elizabeth and the Bard himself, and the company's own version of As You Like It, shortened to about an hour. For Shakespeare lovers, it's a clever feast in that you get a conventional production in As You Like It, which manages to tell the basic plot pretty squarely; a funny, sometimes scathing bit of fictional history in Sonnets; and a slapstick delight with 15-Minute Hamlet. It's all done successfully because the performers, especially Jason Morgan (the festival is his brainchild), exhibit complete respect for Willy Shakes' words, but still know how to have fun. Among the talented cast, Brian Brissman, playing Orlando in As You Like It and the great Dane in 15-Minute Hamlet, is the most conversational and expressive. Even Shaw might have approved.


The Second Production

Much Ado About Nothing

Denton Lasso

Shakespeare wraps up theatre season

by

Jessica Everwtt

Starting Friday, April 29 Much Ado About Nothing will be performed at the Greater Lewisville Community Theatre located at 160 West Main Street. Ticket prices are $9 for children and seniors and $13, for adults. Much Ado About Nothing is to be performed by the Stolen Shakespeare Guild. “My graduate project was to set up a theatre production company that performs the works of Shakespeare,” says Jason Morgan, who is playing Benedick and is a director. Morgan, along with Alison Trapp, who is playing Beatrice and directing, formed the Stolen Shakespeare Guild. “The basic theme is that we as a company of actors are in Elizabethan dress, but with a gypsy flair,” says Morgan. “We have already produced one other production called The Condensed Shakespeare Festival. So Much Ado About Nothing is not a traditional TWU production in that the project is our company not necessarily this one production,” said Morgan. Much Ado About Nothing was probably written by Shakespeare in 1598 or shortly thereafter. Much Ado About Nothing takes place in Messina Sicily, and revolves around obstacles to the union of two lovers named Claudio and Hero. It also has a subplot that follows a "merry war" of wits and the sexes between Beatrice and Benedick. Much Ado About Nothing contains many of the standard devices used in Shakespeare’s earlier comedies, such as, misperceptions, disguises and false reports. Much Ado About Nothing’s comedy does not depend on funny situations alone. Instead, the comedy comes from the characters themselves and the manners of high society in which they live. The play will be performed through May 15.

 

 

Benedick

 

Beatrice

 

Claudio and Hero

 

Benedick, Don Pedro, & Claudio

 

Hero, Ursula, Margret, & Beatrice

 

Claudio & Don Pedro with Borachio

Leonora, Don Pedro, Claudio, Hero

 

Conrade and Lady Joan (Don John)

 

Lady Joan (Don John), Hero, & Beatrice

Benedick & Beatrice

 

Dogberry

 

Dogberry, The Watch, Borachio, & Conrade

The Wedding

 

The Company

Bret Porter ................................... Don Pedro
Matthew Groff ................................. Claudio
Jason Morgan ................................. Benedick
Paula Wood ............. Lady Joan (Don John)
Christopher Becher ........................ Borachio
Travis Britton ................................... Conrade
Laura Jones .................... Leonora (Leonato)
Lauren Morgan ..................................... Hero
Alison Trapp ..................................... Beatrice
Nina Trujillo .................................... Margret
Hazel Murphy .................................... Ursula
Charles Beachley ............................ Dogberry
Kristina Bunn .................................... Verges
Shawn Luiges ....................... George Seacole
Kristian Payne ....................... Frances Secole
Bob Shapiro .......................... Hugh Oatcake
John Wehrung ......................... Friar Francis
 

Directed by Jason Morgan and Alison Trapp