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By William Congreve

Before becoming the most celebrated playwright of the Restoration, William Congreve was a law school dropout with a razor-sharp wit. At the age of twenty-one, he penned his first play, which took London by storm and changed English drama forever. Two young rakes go head-to-head with two brilliant heiresses, an aging libertine struggles to reform his ways, and a new mode of comedy is born. Recorded on Zoom in a single afternoon, this one-shot table read of William Congreve’s THE OLD BACHELOR features actors from across North America.

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The Old Bachelor

By William Shakespeare

A fragile house of cards is built as Bassanio borrows money from his friend, Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, to (of course) woo a wealthy and beautiful young woman. Antonio’s own money is tied up in business ventures that depend on the safe return of his ships from sea, so he borrows the money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender Antonio has previously offended, who lends the money against a bond. Failure to repay the loan on the agreed date will entitle Shylock to a pound of Antonio’s flesh. What could go wrong? Everything, of course!

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The Merchant of Venice

By William Congreve

Mellefont and Cynthia love each other. Their families approve of the match. The wedding is in fourteen hours. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, if Mellefont’s scheming aunt, Lady Touchwood, and her duplicitous lover Maskwell have their way. In one fateful evening, a gallery in the Touchwood mansion becomes the stage for William Congreve’s delicious satire of marriage, sex, and money.

Recorded on Zoom in a single afternoon, this one-shot table read of THE DOUBLE DEALER features actors from across North America.

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The Double Dealer

By Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Money, status, family, desire: anything’s a scandal when it’s talked about enough. Lady Sneerwell, reigning queen of London society, knows that better than anyone. As Sneerwell schemes and gossips with the upper crust, two brothers battle it out for the love and fortune of a beautiful heiress named Maria. If only Maria’s young stepmother weren’t so appealing… Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s exuberant 18th century comedy comes to life in this audio-drama adaptation, featuring actors from across North America.

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The School For Scandal

By Susanna Centlivre

It’s the oldest story in the book: Boy meets Girl; Girl’s Dad gets mad. Unfortunately for Sir George and Charles, their girlfriends have two of the worst dads in London. Enter Marplot, a gregarious fop who loves meddling in people’s lives. As the four lovers scheme against the patriarchy to secure their happily-ever-after, Marplot hurls himself into the action with hilariously disastrous results.

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The Busie Body

Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours: You Got Soul

The concept of self is a complex one to tackle, so join the Sweet Tea Shakespeare crew as they chat about how the ideas of soul and identity interact with art.

Find more of Ruth’s work at her website: ranelsonwriting.com

Songs in the Garden: Poems from the Land of Becoming by R. A. Nelson can be purchased here.

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This project is supported by the Arts Council in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

The show is produced and edited by Kailey Potter.

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