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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Shepherds find thief in play

Ryan Davila, Jason Patrick and Max Unger deal with a thief on the eve of the first Christmas in The Sheep Thief, a SE Campus play running tonight through Saturday. Thursdays production is closed.  Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian
Ryan Davila, Jason Patrick and Max Unger deal with a thief on the eve of the first Christmas in The Sheep Thief, a SE Campus play running tonight through Saturday. Thursday’s production is closed. Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian

By Mark Bauer/se news editor

Ryan Davila, Jason Patrick and Max Unger deal with a thief on the eve of the first Christmas in The Sheep Thief, a SE Campus play running tonight through Saturday. Thursday's production is closed.  Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian
Ryan Davila, Jason Patrick and Max Unger deal with a thief on the eve of the first Christmas in The Sheep Thief, a SE Campus play running tonight through Saturday. Thursday’s production is closed. Photo by Maurceese Graham/The Collegian

Children and parents alike can enjoy the physical comedy and the humorous plot of The Sheep Thief on SE Campus beginning today and showing through the weekend.

The Sheep Thief, an adaptation of Ford Ainsworth’s The Second Shepherd’s Play, explores the happenings of three shepherds and a thief on the eve of the very first Christmas.

Director John Dement said people will more readily recognize the play’s categorical humor when compared with a Warner Bros. cartoon.

“It’s very violent, but non-threatening,” he said.

With big, over-the-top movements, the play is “colorful, kinetic and comical,” Dement said.

Ashley Swearingen, who plays the snow maiden and angel number two, said acting out the physical comedy can be almost as demanding as a workout, but she enjoys it.

“I like the bigger-than-life body movements,” she said. “It’s all exaggerated.”

While the SE adaptation of the play is oriented toward children, the big movements on stage that will hold their attention just comes with the territory of being a 13th century play.

“The genre of the play is comedia del arte,” Sarah Rabo, who portrays Mary, said.

Building on that, Dement said the original version, The Second Shepherd’s Play, was discovered amid an entire collection of plays known as the Wakefield Cycle, based on stories throughout the Bible. And, he said, the style is inspirational.

“A lot of people say that human behavior has changed over the years,” he said. “But read some plays from the 1300s and you’ll see [people behaved] a lot like us.”

But more than just being able to relate with the characters, those who see the play can experience the beauty of the manger scene—a scene that Meg Foland, angel number three, said radiates with love.

“It’s the birth of Christ, the giving of life,” she said. “It’s joy, prosperity, a glow in the face—it’s love.”

Guests of the Arlington Life Shelter dinner will watch a private showing of the play Thursday evening. The opportunity to perform for the guests was not scheduled. It just sort of happened.

“It was lucky circumstance,” Dement said. “I thought, ‘well, it’s a kid’s show—there are a bunch of kids that will be down the hall, why not put on a free show.’”

Although the Thursday evening showing is reserved for guests of the Arlington Life Shelter dinner and its volunteers, students and the general public can attend any of the other nights.

Performances are 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28; Friday, Nov. 30, and Saturday, Dec. 1. Matinees are scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Cost is free for TCC students, faculty and staff. General admission is $6, but $3 for anyone under 18 or over 50.

For reservations, call 817-515-3599.

The Sheep Thief
SE Campus
Showtimes:
Thursday-Saturday 7 p.m.
Matinees 2 p.m.
Box Office: 817-515-3599
General Admission: $6
Non TCC Students/Seniors: $3
TCC Students and Staff: Free

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