Documentation for Shrewd Productions' COA Application for funding:
This page contains documentation of previous Shrewd productions including photos, video trailers, marketing materials and press coverage. Details on a show-by-show basis can also be found by visiting our Past Productions page.
About Shrewd Productions
Championing unique perspectives and emerging artists, Shrewd Productions is focused on women's voices, new plays, and work developed through a collaborative artistic approach. We are committed to creating high-quality theatrical experiences that are thoughtful, provocative, and entertaining, featuring the work of women, LGBTQ, and BIPOC artists as we seek to provide a broader array of voices in American theatre and for Austin audiences.
Shrewd has been honored with over 85 nominations and multiple awards from the Austin Critics Table, B. Iden Payne Committee, and Broadway World, among others, as well as inclusion on multiple “Best Of” lists in the Austin Chronicle. Now in our 19th season, we are proud to be a member of ATX Theatre, Austin Creative Alliance, and the National New Play Network, building Austin's professional theatre community devoted to the development of original work.
Michael Slefinger as Emory
As You Like It
Emma When You Need Her
Hold Me Well
The Dragon Play
Reviews & Press:
The Revolutionists - Austin 360 (Austin American Statesman) Review
"Though dealing with large themes — the rights of women, the excesses of revolution, the fortitude to outlast corrupt regimes — “The Revolutionists” is an intimate play, dealing with the relationships of the four women and the emotional toll that these issues take on them. Shrewd Productions’ mounting of the show focuses intently on this intimacy, creating a dark, funny and moving tribute to the long, ongoing history of the fight for women’s rights."
The Revolutionists - BroadwayWorld Review
"This cast gives Gunderson's beautiful rendering of these historical figures the simultaneously authentic and hilarious and absurd but believable interpretation they fully deserve. The four comprise a beautiful ensemble, and their timing snaps and crackles. Director Rudy Ramirez makes the most of Gunderson's script and sculpts the fine talent of his cast with whip smart timing and pacing."
The Revolutionists - Austin Chronicle Review
"a thoughtful and utterly delightful take on the importance of telling stories set against an utterly horrific period of French history", noting "This extremely entertaining production is rounded out with a minimalist but spot-on set design by Chris Conard and absolutely beautiful period costumes courtesy of Jennifer Rose Davis."
The Revolutionists - Austin Arts Watch Review
"original and bold new play - given an all-too relevant production by the talented minds of Shrewd Productions, led by the incredibly skilled hand of Rudy Ramirez. Following the final days of several of the French Revolution’s strongest women, we see how their fights and struggles are far too similar to the ones women are still fighting today."
Hold Me Well - Central Texas Live Theatre Review
"There are no wasted words or scenes. In fact, every moment of the play builds on the preceding with deliberate and energizing certitude. Like modern movies or Netflix serials, every ten minutes or so there is another twist, another mini-cliffhanger drawing the audience along with suspense-ridden curiosity and amplified intensity."
Hold Me Well - Austin Chronicle Review
"The most interesting aspect of Suter's work is her approach to its feminist themes. Absent a gender dynamic, Suter plays authentically with ideas of civilization without patriarchy. The world she's crafted is no matriarchal utopia that's better off without men; it's crumbling because of the stunning and sudden decline in population. And the women depicted here miss the men – their fathers, sons, brothers, husbands, and lovers. They honor them as souls lost to calamity. They find solace in companionship, honoring one another as survivors, each a part of a new world, trying to find their place, hoping to continue the human race however possible. Ramirez's direction reflects this thinking, from the play's first moment of discovery to its stunning conclusion (departing from Othello in all the right ways). Ramirez focuses on the script's painstaking attention to the many forms of love these women have for each other."
As You Like It - Central Texas Live Theatre Review
“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."
As You Like It - Austin Theatre Examiner Review
“With bold casting choices, great directorial decisions, and a cast of a lifetime, they’ve breathed sparkling new life into one of Shakespeare’s most staid plays, as well as creating one of the most entertaining theatrical experiences this critic’s had in years."
As You Like It - Broadway World Review
“William Shakespeare's AS YOU LIKE IT, by Shrewd Productions and playing at Trinity Street Theatre is a blissful, flawless evening at the theatre...The entire performance is a pure joy to watch and is a must see for every theatre fan."
Emma When You Need Her - Austin Theatre Examiner Review
“'Emma When You Need Her' is a piece bursting with energy and fire, a piece of dynamite and dance, celebrating the life of this history-making revolutionary... It’s one of the most powerful pieces I’ve seen in some time, and one that I cannot recommend enough."
Emma When You Need Her - The Horn (Dana Sayre) Review
"Through the lens of Goldman's life, the play brings up some important questions about activism and revolution. What should we give up for the cause? What must never be given up? What makes life worth living? Who can we trust? How can we make sure everyone is included? “Beautiful things are not luxuries,” Goldman says. “Life would be unbearable without them.”
Deus Ex Machina - Austin Chronicle Article
"A smartphone's all you need to let loose your inner Zeus and control the action in Deus Ex Machina"
Deus Ex Machina - Central Texas Live Theatre Review
"What sets Fisher’s work apart from all other productions or offshoot plays about these classical Greek tragedies is the production’s strong embrace of digital technology...And this opens new territories for theatre and the collaboration between performers and audiences. This collaboration is the vital heart of Deus ex Machina ('God out of the machine' in translation)."
Still Now - Broadway World Review
"This is a great cast at work here. Amelia Turner, as Annie, delivers a sensational performance that is capped by a stunning piece of dance movement. Jonathan G. Itchon, as Amagatsu, the butoh instructor, is a study in control and understatement. Also delivering strong, believable performances are Joseph Garlock, Jennifer Coy, Cara Spradling and Shannon Grounds."
Still Now - Austin Chronicle Review
"In using butoh and its philosophical underpinnings as a lens for looking at cancer, playwright Katie Bender manages to strip from the terminal-disease drama much of the tearjerking sentiment in which it's so often overdressed."
The Dragon Play - Austin Chronicle Review
"Director Shannon Grounds keeps well-focused on the drama's emotional stakes, a task she's aided in by actors with a deep sensitivity to feelings...Thus this fable of the fantastic feels very grounded, its heartrending choices all too real. We catch ourselves reflected in the mythical beast's shining scales, seeing what it is to sacrifice our identity for love and choose the ordinary over the extraordinary."
The Dragon Play - Austin Theatre Examiner Review
"The Dragon Play is a novel experience, a take on one of the most famous mythological creatures that could not be less whimsical. Connell's, and in turn, director Shannon Grounds', ability to keep the subject matter so imaginative while at the same time grounding it so fiercely in reality is admirable"
Big Love - Austin CultureMap Review
"Ready to get heady about love? In the Long Center's Rollins Theatre, Shrewd Productions explores the conundrum of this impossibly gargantuan subject in a thought provoking new production of playwright Charles Mee'sBig Love."
Big Love - Austin Chronicle
"To fulfill the potential of his language, you need a group of actors with some serious chops. Shrewd Productions has fortunately cast its production of Big Love with a lovely, lovely group of actors who fit their parts well. Under the direction of Chronicle Arts Editor Robert Faires, the ensemble is so good that it's difficult to isolate just one or two performances, even though the monologue-filled nature of the play makes it a good showcase for individual talents."
MilkMilkLemonade - Austin Chronicle Review
"In this Shrewd Productions rendition of Joshua Conkel's play, the actors put themselves on the line, and the story stays with you after you leave."
MilkMilkLemonade - Austin Onstage
"by far the most non-stop hilarious show I have seen in a very, very long time. … I was totally enthralled with this show; it is brilliantly comprised of nothing but the best talents on all levels"
MilkMilkLemonade - Austinist Review
"outstanding makeup and costume design, with the excellent Chris Humphrey stretched convincingly taut as the terminally ill Nana, and a stand-out Joe Hartman clad in what is sure to be the year's finest chicken costume-meets-Carmen Miranda outfit… MilkMilkLemonade is a chance for Shannon Grounds to show off her skill as a physical comedian…Her introductory sequence at the beginning of the show is nearly worth the price of admission itself."
MilkMilkLemonade - Austin Chronicle Remount Review
"The spontaneity in this new barnyard is at once uproarious and stinging...each member of the cast is truly strong, heartfelt, and entirely believable, without a weak link in the chain. Once again serving up a tall pitcher of their delicious MilkMilkLemonade."