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By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Across the country, theaters large and small are preparing for weekend shows and matinees.

As Mike Schuh reports, one Shakespeare company in Hampden has a cast member who regularly steals the show.

Under stage lights, the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory sees no need to be as tedious as a twice told tale. So to freshen up Richard III, this new actor needs no makeup.

Roxy, a 7-year-old pit mix, just has to act natural to steal the show. Appearing throughout the run, she is a purebred shelter dog.

“It was a combined idea… It was my idea,” said cast member and K-9 coordinator Kelly Dowling.

This idea has been used nearly a dozen times in Baltimore Shakespeare Factory’s plays.

“It definitely makes the show more accessible for people who aren’t as comfortable with Shakespeare,” Dowling said.

And here’s the other payoff–at the end of the run, if you want to adopt the star, you can through the Baltimore Humane Society. Just be qualified.

“As of right now, all but one have been adopted,” said Dowling.

And rest assured, these pound dogs know how to be hams.

“The dog learns what’s cute and it does what’s cute. If people go, ‘aww,’ when they sit down, the next time they sit down and maybe roll over,” said cast member Tegan Williams.

So, some actors are born great, some achieve greatness and some get to go home with the lady sitting in row three.

Their performances continue for three more weekends.

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