Rough Magic Shakespeare Company
RJdangling Our Current Production

Past Triumphs

Call for Plays!

Playwriting Contest Winners
Bringing the Bard to Northeast AR!   
Rough Magic Shakespeare  is an independent, nonprofit theatre company dedicated to in-your-face Shakespeare and unexpected, small-cast original works by up-and-coming playwrights from around the world.

Any age, 16 and up; any ethnicity.  

Contact immediately for more information or to make an appointment.

Who the heck?     What are they up to?     When's the next production?     Where on Earth?     Why???

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work on this site!

Rough Magic Shakespeare is a small cadre of theatre types devoted to producing high-quality theatrical experiences in the underserved area of Northeast Arkansas.


2012 Staff:

Artistic Director Bethany Arden studied acting and directing with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and London, England, and with Sandra Dorsey at Dorsey Studios, Atlanta, GA.  She has acted and directed professionally in Atlanta and Greenville, S.C., and is thrilled to oversee the nurture of this seedling professional theatre company in the professional theatre desert that is Northeast Arkansas.

Producer/Designer David Manos Morris is a Hollywood screenwriter and ILM special effects artist.  Based in California, David nonetheless makes himself indispensible with artistic design, script work and editing, sound design and special effects, and general moral support.  It's astonishing how much theatre collaboration can be done via "distance theatre" nowadays!
2012 Company Members:

Jared Adams rejoined us after his triumphant turn as Bottom/Lysander in last year's "A Midsummer Night's Dream."  Having spent the intervening year in L.A. studying at AMDA, he made quite an impression exercising his freshly-sharpened chops in our "Compleat Works" in June.

Kacey Johns joined us from Lyon College, where his study of Shakespeare lent a depth of understanding to his exploration of Ferdinand and Gonzalo in our August production of "The Tempest."

Kate Stillion is a founding member of Rough Magic Shakespeare Company.  When she isn't teaching horseback riding or declaiming speeches from the most obscure Shakespeare plays, she is pursuing her double major of Biology and Psychology (with a minor in French) at Lyon College. Reprising her frantically funny role in the "Compleat Works," she was also swept into "The Tempest" in August.

Drew Tolson joined the company for our second show this summer.  A former ASU theatre student, Drew got back on the boards--er, woodchips--in our small-cast "Tempest" in August, stunning audiences with his triple-threat talent:  acting, dance, and of course, the drunken sing-along.

Stay tuned for upcoming additions to our merry band of lunatics. . .  

Upcoming events include:

Find us on facebook (RoughMagicShakespeare) for a more interactive RMSC experience.  

Playwriting Contest Results:

2012 2nd Annual "Bag of Tricks" Playwriting Contest; "Campfire Stories" Theme:
First Place:  "Blue, Blue Moon," by John Patrick Bray  
Second Place:  "Chasing the Bear," by David Middleman
Third Place:  "Magic Fish," by Brent Englar
Honorable Mentions:  "Turbulence," by Gerry Holland
                                "Form Follows Function," by Judd Lear Silverman
                                "Martina's Story," by Monica Raymond
                                "Erida's Daughters," by Darren Caulley

SPECIAL EVENT:  "Hamlet's Ghost," by Lawrence Dukore
Our second annual "Bag of Tricks" event spotlights an original, full-length play by nationally recognized playwright and screenwriter, Lawrence Dukore.  
When Shakespearean actors meet to rehearse in an historic theatre, past collides with present, with life-changing results.  

2011 1st Annual "Bag of Tricks" Playwriting Contest; "Bad Moon Rising" Theme:

First Place:  "Graveyard Shift," by Gerry Holland
Second Place:  "Don't Flinch," by Christopher Lockheardt
Third Place:  "Bald Moon Rising," by Joe Musso
Honorable Mentions:  "The Executioner," by Christopher Lockheardt
                                 "Shute Branch," by Edward Musto
                                 "Like Stars in the Night," by Brent Englar
                                 "Full Moon Falling," by Jake Russell Tapleshay

All selections will be produced in our festival, to take place October 28-29 in our side garden venue at The Edge coffeehouse.

For this our third original script contest, we had 32 submissions from 21 playwrights and the most difficult challenge ever to choose only those few which best met our criteria of excellence in idea and narrative, truly earned "spooky" flavor, and suitability for our company and outdoor venue.  We want to sincerely thank all of the playwrights who chose to share their wonderful work with us, and remind you all that we plan to run at least two festivals for original short scripts each year, so please keep an eye out for future calls for plays!

2011 1st Annual "Summer Shakes" Playwriting Contest:  
                                1st Old Prices, by Jesse Waldinger
                               2nd What Peace We Make, by David Radavich
                                Honorable Mention:  A Terrible Beauty, by David Radavich
We received 23 scripts from 14 different playwrights in three countries!  The overall quality was very high; these represent the best of the best!

2011 1st Annual "Spring Chickens" Playwriting Contest:  
                               Christopher Lockheardt; Your Kiss Is On My List, Luke Meets Charlene in a Really Nice Bar, Not Funny
Although we received over a dozen submissions, many of them very strong, Lockheardt's work so distinguished him that we felt moved to make a festival celebrating his work exclusively--see "Locking Hearts," above!


Auditions for company members BY APPOINTMENT.
e-mail for more information.

Play script submissions for our next festival; see Playwriting Contests.
e-mail for more information.

Our home venue is the side garden of The Edge Coffeehouse, 1900 Aggie Road, Jonesboro, AR.  

Our mission is to provide professional quality theatre to Northeast Arkansas, with a focus on top-notch original works and on bringing the greatest works of English-language theatre, the plays of William Shakespeare, to NEAR audiences in unexpected and engaging ways.