William Rogers

Will Rogers

Will Rogers is a creative producer/director who’s primary area of focus is branding and the development of interdisciplinary artwork. He is a core member of The Bridge Initiative where he and Artistic Directory Brenda Foley co-host the monthly musical theater event Broadway Curious.

Black Lives Matter

Today and all days Southwest Shakespeare Company stands in solidarity with the Black Community. We acknowledge and embrace our role in standing against systemic racism and denouncing race based prejudice and violence. Black Lives Matter!

Support to APPI Community Members

Letter of Support to APPI Community Members

Southwest Shakespeare Company extends our hearts and support to our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander identifying communities in the face of all the racial, ethnic, and cultural violence currently happening in our world. We stand with you. We remain committed to the movement towards racial equality and will continue to denounce racism, violence, and hatred. We will continue to be the change we want to see by reflecting diversity and embracing inclusion within our organization and within the stories we present.

These words are not empty promises, but a compass for us as we move forward with the intent of improving ourselves and our world. Hate and discrimination have no place in our community or in our creativity. Shakespeare said, "All the world's a stage", and here at Southwest Shakespeare, our stage welcomes all the world.

Southwest Shakespeare Land Acknowledgement

Southwest Shakespeare Acknowledges:

Arizona is home to 22 Native cultures that have inhabited this land for centuries.

The name Arizona is believed to derive from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning "small spring", which initially applied  to an area near Planchas de Plata, Sonora.

Roughly 1/3 of the land known today as Arizona is currently under First Nation sovereign governance.

As we serve the entire State and other parts of the Southwest, we acknowledge those who have been and are caretakers of the land long before Spanish and Mexican colonization.

Specifically at our home, Mesa Arts Center,  we acknowledge the HoHoKum people whose ingenious engineering, irrigation and careful cultivation of the land allow us to be here today. We acknowledge the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Consisting of 52,600 acres, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community adjacent to Mesa, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Fountain Hills. The community is home to nearly 6,000 enrolled members who represent two pre-American sovereign Indian tribes: the Pima (Akimel Au-authm or “River People”) and Maricopa (Xalychidom Pipaash or “People who live toward the water”). Created by Executive Order on June 14, 1879, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community has dedicated its resources to finding its way successfully through  urban pressures.  Respectful of the land, the community maintains 19,000 of its acres as natural preserve. Through programming, fundraising, and professional development we seek to support Native Americans and through endeavor and collaboration hope to gain acceptance in their communities. Southwest Shakespeare has several company members who identify as Indigenous. We respectfully honor this heritage.

Educational Tour: HAMLET


A 90 minute Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark written by William Shakespeare Directed by David Ira Goldstein.

The cast of this show have been studying Hamlet for the past 12 weeks — this will be our most powerfully rehearsed show ever. We welcome the opportunity to share the touring show with our audience at home. 

And this year we return to SEDONA!! 

You will have another opportunity to see our Touring Hamlet in Sedona February 8-13 in the Sedona Performing Arts Center. Teachers and community groups can also book this show and The Prince of Denmark will come to you!


For Bookings, please contact

Susan Freestone @ [email protected]

Meet Our Community Representatives

Gustavo A. Flores

Gustavo A. Flores has been an actor in the Valley since 2012. Having received his Associates degree in Fine Arts Theatre from Paradise Valley Community College (2017), he went on to achieve his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Grand Canyon University (2020). 

In 2017 & 2018 he was nominated and represented PVCC at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Region 8), making semi-finals the second year, and was awarded a scholarship for voice acting to California State University Fresno. He now joins Southwest Shakespeare as a Core Company Member to bring new life to classic and new works alike.

Past productions with Southwest Shakespeare include MACBETH and THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [SOCIALLY DISTANT]. Works with other companies include: AS YOU LIKE IT with the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival. RING ROUND THE MOON, MACBETH, ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS, & THE TEMPEST at Ethington Theatre, as well as a black box production of GOD OF CARNAGE. ALMOST, MAINE with Glendale Community College & ALL MY SONS with Paradise Community College.

Gustavo continues to learn and hone his craft alongside his peers, and hopes to inspire true emotion in the hearts of others.

Contact me @ [email protected]

Bethan Baca

Bethany is from Phoenix, AZ who graduated from Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA with a B.A. in Theater Arts. Some of her credits include: The Burn as Mercedes at BLK BOX PHX, Tecumseh! as Wabethe at Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama in Chillicothe, OH; In the Heights as Carla at Desert Foothills Theatre & Southwest Shakespeare’s productions of Frankenstein & Pericles, Prince of Tyre. She has received First place in the National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in the Adult Musical Theater division in 2017 & 2018 as well as First place in the National Society of Arts and Letters Musical Theater Competition in 2017 & Drama Competition in 2019. 

Contact me @ [email protected]

Victor Yang

Victor Yang is both a Core Company Member and a Community Engagement Representative here at the Southwest Shakespeare Company. He is of Australian-Chinese origin, born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia and he is a classically trained actor currently based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and a Concentration in Acting. Notable roles include: Jorgen Tesman(Hedda Gabler), Claudio(Much Ado About Nothing), John Hale(The Crucible), Lysander(A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Odysseus(Ajax), and more. His work is also present in many student films and commercials around the valley alongside an appearance in Fox Studio’s TV series, Run Coyote Run. In addition to his work as an actor, he is also a freelance photographer, singer, songwriter, director, screenwriter, and playwright. His play, With You Always, which he wrote with fellow ASU alum Diego Sutcliffe, premiered as an ASU TheatreLAB performance in 2019. During his time at ASU, he served on both the Student Advisory Committee and the Safe Set Committee in order to help create a better learning and performance environment for incoming freshmen and incumbent students. His goal is to focus on inclusion and representation on the stage, to make theatre and the art of making theatre accessible to everyone.

Contact me @ [email protected]

Flachmann Seminar - Hamlet November 20th, 2021

The Flachmann Seminar

Seminars this season will be taught by Dr. Susan Willis, dramaturg of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. Dr. Willis was an observer at the BBC while it produced “The BBC Shakespeare Plays: Making the Televised Canon”. Since 1985, she has been the resident dramaturg and a director at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and hosts the adult education series “Theatre in the Mind”. She has also worked with its play program, The Southern Writers Project and is a member of the faculty of Auburn University.

“Southwest Shakespeare’s Flachmann Seminars with Dr. Susan Willis are as interesting and informative as the lectures and workshops on Shakespeare I’ve attended at London’s Globe Theater, the British National Archives, and the 2016 World Shakespeare Congress in Stratford and London. Susan’s knowledge and humor make Shakespeare’s plays more interesting and accessible for novices as well as devotees. After teaching Arizona students for many years, I am thrilled that students, teachers, and Shakespeare lovers of all descriptions have the opportunity to attend a Seminar of this quality in our home state. We are indeed fortunate to have the Southwest Shakespeare Company in the Valley of the Sun.” – Kathy Phares Farris

November 20th @ 2:00 PM (Public/Educators)

To purchase your ticket. and to register for the seminar, please contact [email protected]

“I’ve found the Flachmann Seminars to be revelatory! Each one I’ve attended has added an uplifting, behind-the-scenes dimension to the play; my entire theater experience is enhanced. I benefit from the erudition of the dramaturge, Susan Willis, whose encyclopedic knowledge of Shakespeare takes my breath away, and from fellow participants who often pose questions that can become key points of interest for me.” – Felicity Wilson

Attending a Seminar

Delving deeper into the Bard’s works gives one a greater understanding of the play. The seminars also give you a sneak peek behind the scenes as you will meet the designers, mingle with the actors, possible tour of the set and stage and have a special talk back with the actors.

Seminars are from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM (With breaks throughout) or 2:00pm-5:00pm (With breaks throughout)

The location for the 2020/2021 Season Seminars: Virtual Platform provided on Zoom

Reservations are required. The fee for the seminar is $25 for non-subscribers. To get a virtual ticket to Two Gentlemen of Verona, please click on www.showtix4u.com/events/swshakespeare

You can pay for the seminar online by clicking the link above or call 480-435-6868 to reserve your spot.

Bard Club Members

Admission to the seminar is included in Bard Card memberships.

Season Subscribers

Admission is not included in your season subscription, however you can purchase a seat by clicking the button above.

Educators and Students

Because SSC understands the value of bringing Shakespeare alive to students and has the desire to assist teachers with simplifying this task, we encourage all  teachers to attend SSC Flachmann Seminars. The seminars offer learning techniques teachers can take  directly back to their classrooms.  Attendees will receive expert knowledge of the production and most districts accept this as 10 re-certification credits. Educators will receive a certificate upon completion of the day. Please check with your district to receive professional development credit. The course is $20 and the certificate for professional development is an additional $15

Please contact Susan Freestone at [email protected] to book your ticket. This is a virtual classroom an you will be given a link at booking.

For Educators, please contact [email protected] to purchase your tickets and information.

Story Time Classics LIVE! A Novel Experience

Story Time Classics LIVE! A Novel Experience 

Monday - Friday at 11am (MST) Hosted by Beau Heckman and special guests. Streamed live on Youtube and Facebook. 




  • The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • Sherlock Holmes: THE VALLEY OF FOUR by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  • Sherlock Holmes: THE SIGN OF THE FOUR by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Jan 28th-Feb 3rd, 2021)
  • Sherlock Holmes: HOUNDS OF BASKERVILLE by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Jan 15th-27th,2021)
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Dec 28th - Jan 11th, 2021)
  • The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Dec 22nd-24th, 2020)
  • The Polar Express, A Kidnapped Santa Claus, Little Gretchen and the Wooden Shoe (Dec 21st, 2020)
  • Little Piccola/ The Legend of the Christmas Tree/ The Boy With the Box (Dec 17th,2020)


Educational Virtual Readings

Enjoy some of our classic readings from the summer of 2020 pandemic. 


Reading Selection:



Henry V  (Directed By Quinn Mattfeld)

Richard III (Directed by Irwin Appel)

Henry IV Part I (Directed by Ingrid Sonnichsen)

Henry IV Part 2 (Directed by Ingrid Sonnichsen)

Merchant of Venice (Directed by Irwin Appel and David Ira Goldstein)

A Midsummer Night's Dream  (Directed by Ty Defoe and to support Covid relief in Native Nations)

Julius Caesar (Directed by and Starring Tony Award Winning Trezana Beverly and benefiting ACMI)

Pericles; Prince of Tyre - (Directed by Beau Heckman)

2021 ESU Competition

English Speaking Union 2021 Competition
The English Speaking Union is a national organization that employs English as a catalyst to foster global understanding and goodwill by providing educational and cultural opportunities for students, educators, and members. The Monologue and Sonnet competition provides an opportunity for high school students to test their oration and acting skills at the school, branch, and national level for the opportunity to win scholarships and international training opportunities.


from Joshua Murphy! 
Contact us ASAP for any assistance you may need. 
Schools can enter 1 student per 1000 students (in student body) by March 5th, 2021. 
(Schools with fewer than 1000 students, may submit 1 semi-finalist)
Home Schoolers deadline is March 5th, 2021 and has a separate adjudication from the schools
Finalist will be chosen and announced on March 6th, 2021
About the Annual Competition:

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition is a performance-based educational program serving grades 9-12, or ages 14 – 18 years old. Since 1983, the competition has engaged more than 360,000 young people. Approximately 2,500 teachers and 20,000 students in nearly 60 ESU Branch communities participate each year. High school students nationwide read, analyze, perform and recite Shakespearean monologues and sonnets in three qualifying stages: school, ESU Branch and national.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition is aligned with modern educational practices.

Participating students will:

  • practice essential skills such as critical thinking, close reading and public speaking
  • work through all 6 levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, from recall to creation, increasing self-confidence through reading, analysis and performance of Shakespeare
  • have multiple points of entry to explore universal themes and are challenged to decode for themselves the complex beauty of Shakespeare’s language
  • work with teachers and peers in a student-centered program of experiential and cross-curriculum learning
  • meet local, state and national standards in English Language Arts and Drama.

The ESU National Shakespeare Competition has been recognized by the Globe Center (USA), the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America and the American Academy of Achievement. 

New for 2021:
  • The ESU National Shakespeare Competition Finals will take place remotely following the same format it did in 2020. It is our hope that the competition can return to a live format once it is safe to do so. Please contact us if you need to use SSC Video equipment and Facilities at 255 S MacDonald Mesa, AZ 85201 by appt only with one driver and one coach.
  • Branch and School Competitions: Recorded Competition
    • Same format as 2020 National Semi-Finals. Students upload a video to YouTube and provide a link on the school winner form.
  • Send us a Youtube video link to [email protected]
  • NO FEE to enter this Prestigious 2021 ESU Competition with its high stakes awards and prizes!

     2021 Prizes are as follows (due to COVID there is a possibility of delayed/substituted prizes)

  •      1st place: British American Drama Academy Mid-Summer Conservatory Program
  •      2nd place: American Shakespeare Center Theatre Camp
  •      3rd place: $1000 
Rules and Eligibility
Follow this link for all the rules, regulations, and criteria


The selections that contestants perform must meet the following criteria.


Students must select their monologue from the 2021 Monologue Packet (COMING SOON), provided by the ESU.

No alterations may be made to the monologues. They must be performed as written in the packet.The packet has been updated for the 2020-2021 season and now includes OVER 250 monologues from 120 characters in all 38 plays. The selections offer a variety of monologues, of 15 to 22 lines a piece; students may select whichever monologue they prefer, regardless of gender.  Selections have been taken from the Folger Digital Texts resource (folgerdigitaltexts.org).


Sonnets must come from Shakespeare’s 154 sonnet cycle. These are all listed in the 2021 Sonnet Packet (COMING SOON) and are available at folgerdigitaltexts.org.

Student Handbook

Documents and Forms

Polish up your Sonnets/Monologues
$100 for 45 minutes with Josh to aid your student(s) to review and receive Sonnets and Monologues Pointers
$600 in depth SSC Residency with Joshua Murphy teaching basic Shakespeare and more in depth Preparation and practicing Monologues and Sonnets.

Video Tips from Joshua Murphy

Click on the link below and get expert recording tips from SSC’c Core Company Member, Joshua Murphy.