Richard III | July 12 – August 18

by William Shakespeare
directed by Dawn McAndrews

sponsored by George & Elaine Keyes

Crowned by means of shameless seduction, lies, and bloodshed, Richard Plantagenet makes the happy earth his hell as he carves a bloody swath through all that stand in his way. Shakespeare’s “game of thrones” concludes the “War of the Roses” play cycle with one of literature’s most ruthless, remorseless, and relentless characters.

Schedule
Thursday, July 12, 7:30 p.m. (Preview)
Friday, July 13, 7:30 p.m. (Opening with Pre-Show Classics in Context Discussion)
Saturday, July 21, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 29, 7:00 p.m. (Post-Show Discussion)
Wednesday, August 1, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, August 3, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 5, 1:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 9, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, August 14, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, August 15, 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 18, 1:00 p.m.
Coming Soon!

From the Director

Things that are true…Richard was the 12th of 13 children; Richard was trained as a knight from early childhood; Richard was married to Lady Anne at age 20; Richard was loyal to his brother King Edward IV and ran the north of England until his brother’s death in 1483; Richard was the last English King to lead his army into battle—all subsequent kings stayed safely in the rear of the battle; Richard’s death marked the end of the Plantagenet line, the Wars of the Roses, and the end of the Middle Ages. Queen Elizabeth I was granddaughter of the usurping Henry Tudor and the head of the Tudor line when Shakespeare wrote this play.

Things that might be so…Robert Cecil, possibly the most feared man in England in the 1590’s, became the most powerful man in England when his father, chief advisor to Queen Elizabeth, died. He was described by friend and foe alike as a manipulative and dangerous man. He was in charge of the Queen’s spy network and may have ordered Christopher Marlowe’s murder. Cecil also had a hunched back. He had a curved spine like the historical Richard III. What if Shakespeare’s play wasn’t just rehashed Tudor propaganda to appease the sitting monarch? What if it was a pointed message to avoid the bunch-backed Toad right under her nose?

Right under her nose…I believe that Shakespeare created literature’s most improbable betrothal, brought Margaret back from exile, amped up Queen Elizabeth’s fortitude, and reimagined the death-weary-mother, the Duchess of York, as chorus, witnesses who are prophetic forces and anything but silent, to serve as catalyst for Richard’s downfall. It is this part of the story that interests me—the iron will to survive the loss of a child, a husband, and one’s vaulted status that gives one strength to speak truth to power. What if Shakespeare was also praising the sitting monarch for her iron will by creating these powerful women in her image? What if propaganda and patronage are one in the same? What if greed and ambition perpetuate fake news? What if we say nothing about them?