Southwest Shakespeare Company is bringing a winter treat to remember: performances of “Hamlet” and “Much Ado About Nothing” running in repertory at the Mesa Arts Center, January 13 through the 28.

Is this Shakespeare’s most popular tragedy and comedy? Cry one night, laugh the next.

These are bold new productions, presented in rotating repertory by a single company of players.

Southwest Shakespeare Company
“Much Ado About Nothing” (Photo courtesy of the Southwest Shakespeare Company)

“Hamlet” will be directed by David Barker – a professor of theater at Arizona State University – this production tightly focuses on the “outrageous circumstances the young prince is thrust into and his relentless fight to avenge his father’s murder,” said Barker.

“Gone are tangents that characters launch into that add nothing to the dramatic action, which needs to surge forward,” said Barker, whom SSC audiences will remember from the 2011 Titus Andronicus that he directed.

With “Much Ado About Nothing,” Tracy Liz Miller – known for her involvement with The Bridge Initiative; she also is Associate Producer at the Vermont Shakespeare Company – takes the helm and, said, “I just know this will prove to be one of the most enjoyable and fun productions I’ve been fortunate to work on.”

Miller is well known locally for her efforts to empower women to assume greater leadership roles in theater.  She also is on faculty at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

Miller said this in reflection on her work with “Much Ado:” “we’ve had such a good time coming up with how to fit recognizable character types from the 1940’s Golden Age of Hollywood into the world of Shakespeare, creating a world that fits both the beautiful play and our post- World War time-period.”

“Much Ado” is a fun night in the theater.  Come ready to laugh. Come ready to cheer the young lovers on and enjoy yourself because this is theater where you leave feeling good about life.

Tickets range from $24 to $48; students with valid ID, $18.  Reserve now by booking on-line or calling the MAC box office, 480.644.6500.