Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa opens 25th season - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa opens 25th season

November 6th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Southwest Shakespeare Company in Mesa opens 25th season


The Southwest Shakespeare Company’s silver-anniversary season debuts with a classic that was not written by the Bard of Avon along with one of his most-popular plays of the past 450 years.

The landmark season begins Oct. 26 at the Mesa Arts Center’s Piper Auditorium with a world-premiere production of “Frankenstein.” Southwest Shakespeare Company will produce in repertory the Mary Shelley classic and “Pericles, Prince of Tyre” through Nov. 10.

“Frankenstein,” adapted to the stage by SSC artistic director Quinn Mattfeld, was written by Shelley, then 19, in 1818.

She tells the story of the famous scientist who tried to create life.

“On the 200th anniversary of the publishing of Shelley’s gothic masterpiece, our culture is still wrestling with the moral and philosophical issues she raised in Frankenstein, the consequences of technology from artificial intelligence to the creation and destruction of life in a laboratory,” Mattfeld said. “There is, perhaps, no story that is more relevant to 2018 than that of Victor Frankenstein and his monster.”

“Frankenstein” will be directed by veteran SSC associate artistic director Patrick Walsh, the 210th play that he has directed in his career. Recently, Walsh directed “Romeo and Juliet” and “Sense and Sensibility” for SSC.

“Pericles, Prince of Tyre” by William Shakespeare is a first for SSC and a rare opportunity for Arizona audiences to see this bucket-list piece. “Pericles” is a romantic-tragicomedic romp through ancient Greece in Odyssey-style. Bad guys, good guys, gods, goddesses and, just when it couldn’t get worse, pirates all advance the story to its fantastical conclusion. Mattfeld directs this production.

Both plays will be presented at the Arts Center, 1 E. Main St. in Mesa, using SSC’s innovative new Jacobean facade set piece.

The Southwest Shakespeare Company has announced special 25th anniversary season pricing with $25 general-admission tickets and $13 educator and student tickets to those 24 and younger for all shows. Premium seating is $35.

One hour before the show, enjoy refreshments and live “Green Show” entertainment on the plaza outside the Arts Center lobby, adjacent to the Piper Theater. It runs approximately 20 minutes and leads into the director/playwright orientation.

The director orientation with SSC artistic leadership is about 10 minutes immediately following the Green Show.

For those interested in additional review of the plays, SSC offers in-depth and entertaining debriefing. Stop-Action-Shakespeare, “Pericles”, is Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 in the Piper Auditorium at MAC for $10.

The Flachmann Seminar is Saturday, Nov. 3, at 9 a.m. at the Mildred Fitch Family Life Center of 1st United Methodist Church of Mesa, one block south of the MAC on the corner of Second and Center. Admission charge of $60 includes lunch and a matinee ticket. The directors and one playwright will be available for questions.

Talkbacks are Thursday and Saturday evenings (except for the Saturday, Nov. 3, matinee) and Final Friday.

Other shows by the company this season presented at the Mesa Arts Center:

“As You Like It,” Feb. 22-March 9: One of Shakespeare’s most-famous comedies.

“The Taming of the Shrew,” Feb. 22-March 9: Shakespeare’s hilarious and challenging comedy about two opposites who attract.

Southwest Shakespeare Company was founded in 1994 by educators who wanted to create a modern-day people’s theater. Inspired by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, audience members from all walks of life are encouraged to take an active role through contact with the artists.

SSC’s mission is to entertain, educate and inspire the public and educational community by exploring the intricacies of language through the vibrant and passionate performance of works of live theater.

Tickets: or 480-435-6868.

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