Sense and Sensibility

“Purists may blanch, but this amped-up adaptation should tickle most Austen fans — and even non-fans. ★★★★!”- Kerry Lengel, The Republic,

 Rave reviews for The Merchant of Venice

This is the final week to see Southwest Shakespeare Company’s hit production of The Merchant of Venice that Phoenix Magazine calls a “Must See” Event!   ~ Niki D’Andrea, Phoenix Magazine     Read more….

Southwest Shakespeare Company’s second offering of its 23rd Season is The Merchant of Venice and it is, to use the Bard’s words, a palpable hit.   ~ Herb Paine,        Read more…

The Merchant of Venice is still a thought provoking, powerful and important piece of drama full of honesty, truthfulness and ugliness.
Gil Benbrook, Talkin’ Broadway                            Read more…

The Merchant of Venice October 14 – 29, 2016 at the Mesa Arts Center

Southwest Shakespeare Company’s production of The Merchant of Venice is one of William Shakespeare’s most thought-provoking plays.
View our videos of the cast and director speaking about our version set in the 1920’s.


Smash Hit! Or, by Liz Duffy Adams

“… a door-slamming, historically dramatic farce and an exceptional and provocative comedy. With a sublime cast and sure-footed direction… “Southwest Shakespeare’s cast is superb. Emily Mohney is simply radiant as Behn. Jesse James Kamps and Allison Sell portray every other character in the play with comical relish and senseless abandonment.”  Gil Benbrook, TalkinBroadway    Read more…

“Or, runs – nay frolics and charms. …OR, is witty, sexy, and sophisticated. It is at once provocative and light-hearted. It embraces, reveres, and elevates the power of the wORd. Adams fulfills the promise of the Prologue, to “enlarge and show a vast unsettled world within that open o and nosing thrust of r.” In shORt, in fORm and ORder, OR, is a masterpiece.”  Herb Paine, BroadwayWorld      Read more…

“A literate farce with an intriguing history lesson.”  ★★★½   Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic   Read more…

Rave reviews for Wittenberg! See it again in Spring 2017!

“Fact plus fiction equals big laughs in Southwest Shakespeare’s Wittenberg!”
★★★★ FOUR STARS! Kerry Lengel, AZ Central 

“Dickinson, Glass, and Wilson are phenomenal ~ richly, crisply, and believably channeling their characters. Ms. Sell ~ in multiple roles, including a sassy barmaid, the object of Faustus’s affections, and a messenger of sad tidings from Elsinore, demonstrates once again her remarkable versatility.” ~Herb Paine

“Luther is saddened and torn and Glass exhibits those conflicted feelings exceptionally. Zany and thought-provoking aren’t two descriptions that usually go together, yet the smartly written Wittenberg manages to be both … the end result is charming, intellectual, confident and inspiring, yet also extremely hilarious.” ~Gil Benbrook

King John has earned rave reviews from both Kerry Lengle of the Arizona Republic and Gil Benbrook of Talkin’ Broadway!

“the current production at the Mesa Arts Center is a must-see for Shakespeare completists, as this play is rarely performed….directed by Sakren in a lean two-hour staging, is briskly paced and easy to follow, which is no mean feat amid the thicket of lordly titles and convoluted blood relationships in medieval England. …one of Shakespeare’s cleanest and least problematic…Maren Maclean, one of the Valley’s top actresses, is appropriately fiery (and, later, tragically quenched) as Constance, who seeks to put her son Arthur on John’s throne….. a solid ensemble overall, with several fine turns in minor roles that help make this plot-heavy play zip along….battles, betrayals and a boisterous Philip the Bastard, a wise-cracking, mercurial figure who seems at first to care only about his own gain but turns out to be his own kind of lionhearted…..portrayed by Los Angeles actor Ross Hellwig (with) bubble and spark.”

—Kerry Lengel, The Arizona Republic

“….a high energy political power struggle…..Maren Maclean delivers a powerhouse of emotions in her portrayal of Arthur’s mother Constance. Her outbursts show her capable range and intensity, and the pained anguish she instills in Constance once her son is captured is superb….Jesse James Kamps is terrific; he intuitively shows Hubert’s dilemma when forced to do John’s dirty work….meaty parts, an understandable story, and is a swift production—running just two hours with intermission. With an almost perfect cast, impressive direction, and fighting scenes that are fast and furious, Southwest Shakespeare’s production is not only recommended for Shakespeare fans and Shakespeare completists, but for those who enjoy historical dramas and suspense and yes, even “Game of Thrones” fans.”

—Gil Benbrook, Talkin’ Broadway