Reviews for Shrewd Productions Performances

Review: The Afterparty by Shrewd Productions

Review: The Afterparty by Shrewd Productions

by David Glen Robinson
Published on June 29, 2018

As Rommel Sulit comments as Aristophanes, “No, the universe can’t be understood. That’s why we use metaphor.” Reina Hardy's THE AFTERPARTY evokes our love and fascination with the universe that shines down upon us.

 

The Afterparty by Reina Hardy plays now at the Vortex on Manor Road for one more weekend, until June 30th, 2018.  Reina Hardy doesn’t merely flirt with magical realism this time, she dives into it. Shrewd Productions, led by Shannon Grounds, follows her off the diving board into the great theatre pool. They have a huge success, meeting all the challenges presented by a highly unusual play. And The Vortex is a nurturing ...

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Review: Hold Me Well by Shrewd Productions

Review: Hold Me Well by Shrewd Productions

by Brian Paul Scipione
Published on July 28, 2016

The characters are on a raft adrift upon an empty sea with no hope in sight. We the spectators are the ghosts in the room.

 

The Immediate Jewel of the Soul

 

“Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, is the immediate jewel of their souls. Who steals my purse steals trash.  (…..) But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed.”

 

These words from Act 3, scene 3 in Othello summarize both Iago’s fiendish plan and one of the play’s ...

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Review: As You Like It by Shrewd Productions

Review: As You Like It by Shrewd Productions

by Michael Meigs
Published on February 24, 2016

The Shrewds' ingenious AS YOU LIKE IT does the piece proud -- it's an enchantment to be cherished.

This is a land of dreams, enchanted and enchanting. As You Like It is always fun, and this production is something special. Director Lily Wolff draws into this magic circle both familiar Austin devotees of Shakespeare performance and attractive newcomers. And the Shrewd company is just that: knowledgeable, confident, plausible and entirely winning.

 

Set initially in the court of an irascible and usurping duke, it's a quick-moving tale of women friends' escape to ...

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Review: Emma When You Need Her by Shrewd Productions

Review: Emma When You Need Her by Shrewd Productions

by Michael Meigs
Published on May 15, 2015

There’s a protean churning in the cast, for these twelve actors gather as crowds, audiences, workforces and hounded dissident conspirators.

The immersive experience of an ensemble piece like Emma When You Need Her can be disconcerting.  You walk into the black box of the Vortex Rep to find people milling around, and someone — who was it, now? — offers you a chunk of chalk and invites you to write on the unadorned walls. Well, why not? Chalk thoughts and images bloom as the seats fill.  The  cheerful troupe of actors in ragtag ...

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Review: The Dragon Play by Shrewd Productions

Review: The Dragon Play by Shrewd Productions

by Michael Meigs
Published on April 10, 2012

Amelia Turner as the clever, graceful and finally intensely physical dragon girl deliver an electric, devastating speech about the sexual act -- a physical and sexual climax in itself serving at the same time as the climax that seals the link between the two dragon plays.

The Dragon Play confused me as I sat in the front row of the sparsely populated Blue Theatre on opening weekend.  That was deliberate on the part of playwright Jenny Connell, abetted by Shrewds director Shannon Grounds.

 

 

The director has given away enough of the story in a second video interview just released by the company, so I'm dropping no 'spoiler' by telling you the company is presenting two dragon plays, starkly different ... Read more »

Review: The Long Now by Shrewd Productions

Review: The Long Now by Shrewd Productions

by Michael Meigs
Published on May 24, 2009

Beth Burns the playwright lays out for us the tangle of memory, emotion and opportunity, while Burns the director manipulates our perceptions and turns inside-out our understanding of the situation.

Beth Burns' The Long Now opens with the charmingly simple concept stressed in its marketing: Tish Reilly has a very special friend – Time. Tish can go back to any place where a good memory remains and enter it, reliving the moments that please her. We meet the winsome Tish, played by Shannon Grounds, at her dead end job of alphabetizing and filing folders beginning with the letter "F." Maybe this is an insurance company; maybe ...

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