This testosterone-laced rumination on Roman revenge and its aftermath is one of Shakespeare’s most unrelentingly dire plays. At less than two hours, and performed by a seasoned cast who’ve workshopped the one-act show into whipcrack intensity, this is Shakespeare at his most visceral and immediate. General Titus (Nathan Sorseth) makes a fatal error in returning home victorious: Rather than show mercy to Tamora, the vanquished Queen of Goths (Montana von Fliss) and sparing the life of her son, Titus decrees he should die so that his departed relatives can rest in peace. She vows revenge, and with the help of a crafty and amoral Moor (Jonathan Hoonhout), she succeeds—first in marrying the newly enthroned emperor Satuninus (Adam Standley), and then in systematically dispatching Titus’ family, often one body part at a time. There are moments of comedy and passages of great sensuality here, but the play and its players always return, lessons unlearned, to their terrifyingly beautiful ballet of violence. KEVIN PHINNEY [See Kevin's full review.]

Mondays, Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: May 15. Continues through June 15, 2009

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