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

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 (


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

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.

Resurrecting the Renaissance Part 1


From 1921 to 1935 there was an explosion of excellence in American history called the Harlem Renaissance. Black performers emerged writing, speaking, and singing the truth and beauty of the Black American people and their lived experience. They embodied intelligence and talent. Jazz and the blues. They found their voice and pronounced it loudly and unabashedly.

In a modern twist, we pay homage to the greats that paved the way before us while amplifying the Black voices in this art community. We are bringing back the Renaissance. We are bringing back the beauty, the grace, and the grandeur. With their talents these each artists will teach and entertain in new and exciting way. Join us virtually every fourth Friday at 7pm to emerge yourself in the beauty that is Resurrecting the Renaissance.


 May 28th-June 24th, 2021 (Part 1) Featuring:


Cynnita Agent, a recent Arizona transplant, made her Phoenix debut as Addaperle in Black Theatre Troupe’s stunning Production of “The Wiz”. She is a proud graduate of Texas Southern University’s theatre and performing arts program. Some of her most pivotal roles include Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth”, Dora Strang in “Equus”, Felicity in “The Shadow Box” , Lady Blue in “For Colored Girls”, and Mary Girard in “The Insanity of Mary Girard”.


Robert “FlipSide” Daniels was born in Las Vegas and raised in San Bernardino, California. He graduated from Chaffey College and has degrees in business administration and finance. He is the co-founder of Phat! Magazine and the one time Editor-in-Chief of PUB Magazine: People’s Underground Beat, which started his career in public relations and journalism in 1988. Since that time Daniels has written for five newspapers and two magazines as well as the Sapphire Group, which he joined in 2018. Daniels also co-founded a poetic theatre troupe called BlackPoet Ventures in 2005. He works as a teaching artist in three Phoenix area schools for a company called Project Lit and also works with a bullying prevention education program for Decisive Life, LLC. Under the moniker “FlipSide”, Daniels has published a poetry book called “Fragile: Life is Poetic — Say Something… or Not Whatever”. He also has two other books in the publishing process. He has written an autobiographical one-person show which is in pre-production.  The return of the arts will include some big events coming from  FlipSide in 2021 & 22.


Ryan L. Jenkins is honored to be part of Resurrecting the Renaissance! She has worked with Tier5 Theatre Company, Southwest Shakespeare Company, Virtual Theatre of Arizona, Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival, Black Theatre Troupe, iTheatre Collaborative, Stray Cat Theatre, and Nearly Naked Theatre. Ryan is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and earned her Acting BFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014. IG:@ryanljenkins


Ashton Vaughn Charles (a proud member of The Color 8 band) is a dedicated, multitalented, collaborative musician who has been performing for 19+ years.

Ashton has extensive experience in playing reed instruments (Saxophone/Clarinet), as well as reciting rhythmic lyricism, and has played in bands, as well as solo over multiple genres of music (Classical/Jazz/R&B/Hip Hop/Neo Soul/etc.). 

Ashton thoroughly enjoys playing music quite often, and is looking to expand his horizons around the world, sharing his art with anyone who may enjoy it.


Racquel is a Jamaican native, Chicago actor, and Arizona transplant. She received her BA in performance from SIUC. Upon graduating she toured Barbados, England, and Nigeria with ZMirage Co. as Aysatu (Preemptive) and Cora (Seven). Once returning stateside she became a resident burlesque dancer with Gorilla Tango Theater. Soon after she began working with The Murder Mystery Company and was promoted to director and soon after Performance coach, with acting troupes in both Phoenix and San Jose. Since relocating to Arizona, she’s been seen as Ferdinand (The Duchess of Malfi) Flagstaff Shakespeare Company, as Jewel (The Taste Test) and Danitra (Lines In The Dust) Black Theater Troupe, as Hermia (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Celia (As You Like It) and Mobray/Queen (Richard II) Southwest Shakespeare Company, as Grace (Junie B Jones is Not a Crook) Childsplay Theater, as Sara (Stop Kiss) and Shelita Burns (Bee-Luther-Hatchee) Emerson Theater Collaborative and as Macy (The Cake) Stray Cat Theater. She is a poet with a self-published chapbook entitled Tornado that launched February 2020. She is a director, dancer, designer, and published cover model. Resurrecting the Renaissance is her brain child and she hopes it can bring the lush beauty of the Harlem Renaissance and a much needed education to the Arizona community.  

Resurrecting the Renaissance Part 2


From 1921 to 1935 there was an explosion of excellence in American history called the Harlem Renaissance. Black performers emerged writing, speaking, and singing the truth and beauty of the Black American people and their lived experience. They embodied intelligence and talent. Jazz and the blues. They found their voice and pronounced it loudly and unabashedly.

In a modern twist, we pay homage to the greats that paved the way before us while amplifying the Black voices in this art community. We are bringing back the Renaissance. We are bringing back the beauty, the grace, and the grandeur. With their talents these each artists will teach and entertain in new and exciting way. Join us virtually every fourth Friday at 7pm to emerge yourself in the beauty that is Resurrecting the Renaissance.


 June 25th-July 22nd, 2021 (Part 2) Featuring:


Trey Peace

Edward D. Peace Jr. was born in Buffalo, New York. His family moved to Ganado, AZ on the  Navajo reservation when he was 7 years old. He started dancing in Pinetop-Lakeside, AZ when he was about 12 and that’s when he decided he would be an actor. He currently lives in Flagstaff, AZ and has most recently acted in Twelfth Night with Flagshakes and will be performing in their summer repertoire.


William “Issim” Ramsey

Billy Ramsey also known as Issim, is a professional entertainer, arts educator, producer, and writer. He has studied and performed as a spoken word artist, actor, director, step master, musician, and motivational speaker. Billy began his journey at the age of 8 when he was introduced to the church choir. He began playing drums at the age of 10 with a local gospel quartet, The Mighty Voices of Wonder. Two years later he was introduced to the stage as an actor landing roles in Mandela, Zooman and the Sign, and many educational films. Other noted performances include an after-school special with Paul Rodriguez and Sizwe Bansi is Dead performed with the Lost Boys of the Sudan Leadership Center. Mr. Ramsey is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in Communications and a minor in Psychology. He is the founding member of BlackPoet Ventures LLC. His past 25 years of serving youth, fathers, and families is now mirrored in his role of Artistic Director for BlackPoet Ventures.


Tyra Yvette

Tyra Yvette is a native Phoenician who has performed in Georgia, Tennessee, and throughout Arizona. Some of her favorite performances include the portrayal of Lottie in By The Way Meet Vera Stark with iTheatre Collaborative, Black Nativity with Black Theatre Troupe, Addaperl in The Wiz at Mesa Encore Theater. Her award winning performances include the portrayal of Motormouth Maybelle in Desert Foothills Youth Theatre’s Hairspray and Fannie Lou Hammer in SeekFirst Entertainment’s Black Woman Walking. She is grateful to God for her talents. Tyra is most appreciative of the support of her husband Melvin and her loving family support.


Truth B. Told
Born in Saginaw, MI, award-winning writer/spoken word artist Truth B. Told has wowed audiences from Ford Theater in Hollywood to the Alvin Ailey Theater in Manhattan & Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Truth has been featured on BET’s Black History Moment series and Dove/Twitter’s #SpeakBeautiful campaign as well as MTV, VH1, and PBS, and has even written a successful pitch for a company on ABC’s Shark Tank. Truth also runs Culture PHX, a community-focused company which gained national headlines for its work with the WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury and New York Liberty to empower young women.
T.A. Burros

A New York City native, T.A. Burrows is a multi-talented professional entertainer who has over 45 years of experience and has performed over 3,000 shows throughout the U.S. and
Europe. He has appeared in Las Vegas, and he has opened for such stars as Patti Labelle, The Temptations, Earth, Wind & Fire, The Pointer Sisters, Brian McKnight, The Isley Brothers, and Teddy Pendergrass.

A former stand-up comedian, T.A. is now a singer and master impressionist and who is capable of imitating everyone from Elvis Presley to Michael Jackson. He is also an actor, who has been active in Valley theater for nearly 20 years. He is a four-time AriZoni Award winner whose theater credits include such shows as Damn Yankees, Guys & Dolls, Annie Get Your Gun, The Pajama Game, Purlie, A Few Good Men, Driving Miss Daisy, and Simply Sammy, a tribute to Sammy Davis, Jr.

In addition, T.A. is the owner and Executive Producer of Act Two Productions a Phoenix area entertainment company. He has written and produced such popular shows as Unforgettable, Sentimental Journey, On the Air!, Top of the Charts, Rockin’ the Classics, Remember When, Songs in the Key of Love, Swing Street Café, and many more.

Shakespeare in the Law

You have to do it, why not do it with us?

Experience live theater while learning and discussing legal ethics. Southwest Shakespeare Company actors perform specific legal scenes from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.

A Panel of Experts to Guide the Discussion

A highly active presentation coupled with an interactive panel discussion lead by local legal professionals and Curt Tofteland, the renowned founder of the esteemed Shakespeare Behind Bars program.

The lively discussion is unique in its inclusion of actors, lawyers and students attending the program!

Cost of Class Per Person: $145

Cost of Class Per Firm: CONTACT FOR PRICING [email protected]

Class includes three CLE legal ethics credits with certificate, materials from the class, and a live performance of scenes from The Merchant of Venice.

To register please email: Joshua Murphy [email protected] or Breona at [email protected]

call: 480-435-6868