In Spring 2016 The Merry Beggars put on their first performance run of Romeo and Juliet. It followed upon a semester of intense rehearsal and preparation, putting together a complete costume department, thrust stage, and black box sets. Our actors learnt fencing, singing, dancing, and Shakespearean acting. Over 500 people enjoyed the show, laughing, crying, and applauding our student’s efforts.

Donahue Academy’s Shakespeare program is a two-semester track, learning Shakespearean plays and poetry during the Fall semester (culminating in performance of their sonnets) and taking on all aspects of an Elizabethan production in the Spring: learning lines, practicing clowning, arranging songs, managing tickets, and virtually every other part of a full play production. This process is the capstone of Donahue’s classical program, bringing together their learning, formation, and artistic development into a fully realized performance run.

Our troupe follows originalist practices, starting our rehearsals with examining the text, scanning the poetry, and trying to understand Shakespeare’s context and humor. Only after our actors have a full understanding of the text do we move to blocking scenes, costuming, and developing full characters. For us, everything must be rooted in the text!

For this reason we use a thrust stage, rather than a proscenium stage, and have universal lighting to allow the actors to immediately interact with the audience. Rather than staring at a screen, the audience becomes the butt of jokes, the dance partners of clowns, and the trees of the forest of Arden.

We devote ourselves to the study of the Bard because, in learning his language and in embodying his characters, we are profoundly changed by his imagination. We hope that you see our shows and experience this for yourself!

Show Dates

Saturday April 29, 7:00pm
Sunday April 30, 7:00pm
Thursday May 4, 7:00pm
Friday May 5, 7:00pm
Saturday May 6, 7:00pm
Sunday May 7, 7:00pm


Reserve Tickets



Reserve Tickets



Show Information

All shows will be in the Donahue Academy Gymnasium.

If your selected show is sold out, available nights will be suggested.