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Swords stolen from Redlands Shakespeare Festival

January 16, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
With a festival just around the corner, the Redlands Shakespeare Festival says thieves have made off with the group's stock of medieval and Renaissance swords, among other props.

For the past seven years, the Shakespeare Festival has acquired an assortment of weaponry, many of the items either purchased or donated.

Without the props, the group may have to dig deep. The total cost to replace all 30 pieces will run the organization about $3,000.

"It's really difficult to explain the value of an armory to a Shakespearean Festival or Shakespearean company of actors," said Steven Sabel, the festival's art director. "It's one of the most valuable assets that a company can have."

"There are a lot of uses and calls for weaponry in Shakespearean canon because they are period pieces."

The group, which has performed at the Redlands Bowl, stored its collect of costumes and swords at a home just around the corner.

As they prepared to move them to a secure storage unit, several items mysteriously vanished from the home.

The swords may not be real or deadly, but they are not mere toys either.

"They are steel," Sabel said. "They aren't sharp, but they do have points. They could be dangerous."

So who would want to steal these swords?

"The only people who could make use of these swords is a Shakespearean group like us or perhaps a band of marauding pirates," Sabel said.