Recommended arts: 'Mary Stuart,' 'A Brief History of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits,' 'Truth & Beauty,' 'Project Forklift,' 'American Letterpress'
Thursday through Sunday
'Mary Stuart.' Austin Shakespeare is the first theater company in the Southwest to be awarded the rights to produce the Tony-nominated suspenseful adaptation of 'Mary Stuart' by British poet and playwright Peter Oswald. The play follows the passionate, beautiful Queen of Scotland and how she struggles to gain freedom from her rival cousin, Elizabeth, the powerful Queen of England. The period costume drama is played on a runway-like stage with the audience on two sides. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturday, 3 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 28. Rollins Studio Theatre, Long Center, 711 W. Riverside Drive. $23-$35. 472-5664,www.thelongcenter.org
'A Brief History of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits.' In 1725, a young English woman named Mary Toft claimed to give birth to 18 rabbits, and several prominent physicians of the time believed her. Now, Austin playwright C. Denby Swanson has re-imagined Toft's fantastic tale with an A-List of Austin actors and puppetry by Connor Hopkins. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays through March 6. Salvage Vanguard Theater, 2803 Manor Road. $15. www.salvagevanguard.org.
'Truth & Beauty: The Bach Project.' Stephen Mills' evening-length ballet finds its inspiriation in the music of Bach as well as an enigmatic painting in Mills' art collection. Pianist Michelle Schumann plays live, and composer Graham Reynolds leads an ensemble in his big-band reinvention of Bach. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Long Center, 711 W. Riverside Drive. $27-$77. 476-2163, www.balletaustin.org. The Sunday 3 p.m. show will be audio-described. Audio headsets are free.
Friday and Saturday
'Project Forklift.' Choreographer Allison Orr threw a challenge to a handful of her Austin dancemaking peers: Make dance for nondancers. Massage therapist, chefs, waiters, a police officer and a 74-year-old retired dancer are just some of the performers in the series of six short works. 8 p.m. Feb. 12-20, 2 p.m. Feb. 21. Off Center, 2211 Hidalgo St. $12-$20. www.forkliftdanceworks.org
'American Letterpress: The Art of the Hatch Show Print.' For more than 130 years, the Nashville-based printing agency Hatch Show Prints has made an indelible mark on American pop culture imagery with its letterpress posters of vaudeville shows, state fairs and stock car races along with shows by the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley and Herbie Hancock. A Smithsonian-organized exhibit brings 120 vintage Hatch Prints to town. Exhibit continues through May 9. Austin Museum of Art, 823 Congress Ave. $4-$5. 495-9224, www.amoa.org. - Jeanne Claire van Ryzin