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Rude Mechanicals

Rudes Montage 1

The Rude Mechanicals Medieval and Renaissance Players is a theater troupe devoted to two goals: (1) productions of ancient Greek, medieval, and Renaissance drama that are true to the spirit of the time in which these plays were first performed and are relevant to twenty-first century audiences; (2) productions of short plays written by Shepherd University Creative Writing Majors.   Previous productions include Shakespeare’s Hamlet, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth; a wide variety of medieval plays, including The Creation and Fall of the Angels, The Fall of Man, The Killing of Abel, The Death of Herod, The Second Shepherds’ Play, Everyman, and Mankind; Greek tragedies such as Antigone, Medea, Trojan Women, and Electra; and fourteen plays by Shepherd University Creative Writing majors. The Rude Mechanicals troupe has performed in the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, California, Florida, and Washington, DC.  For more information about the Rude Mechanicals, contact Dr. Betty Ellzey, Chair of the Department of English, History, and Modern Languages, Shepherd University (304 876-5208 or

The Rude Mechanicals Medieval and Renaissance Players performed the fifteenth-century medieval comedy The Second Shepherds’ Play at the Wilson College Humanities Conference on February 25th. Shepherd students who performed include Julie Bowen, Brianna Cline, Dannah Lohr, William Prudnick, Abigail Stradley, and Olyvia Thompson. Alumni TK Lindsay and Ash Wilson were also in the cast, as well as Admissions Counselor Catherine Ellzey. The Second Shepherds’ Play is from an anonymous collection of fifteenth-century northern English biblical cycle plays (sometimes referred to as mystery plays).  Dr. Betty Ellzey, Professor of English and Chair of the Department of English and Modern Languages, directs performances by the Rudes each semester.

The Rude Mechanicals Medieval and Renaissance Players, under the direction of Dr. Betty Ellzey, performed Joseph’s Wedding, a sixteenth-century Spanish play, at the New College Conference on Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Sarasota, Florida, on Friday, March 4th, 2022, as part of the conference’s Performance Series. Joseph’s Wedding, an auto-sacramental, is a play that combines religious themes with comedy and social messages about religious tolerance. Shepherd University students who performed include L Harvey, an English major; Dakota DiMarino, an environmental science major; Victoria Fairchild, a photography/computer imagery major; Sadé Herring, a sociology major; Olyvia Thompson, a secondary education major; Julie Bowen, a secondary education major; and William Prudnick, a chemistry major.

The Rude Mechanicals Medieval and Renaissance Players will perform Aristophanes’ bawdy ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata March 29th through April 7th at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Wednesday, and Thursday and at 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. All performances will be in Reynolds Hall. Admission is free for Shepherd University students, faculty, and staff; $5 for the general public; and $2 for other students. Audience members must be 18 or older. For more information, contact Dr. Betty Ellzey (