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Actors' Shakespeare Project Presents Rarely Seen EDWARD II by Christopher Marlowe

Actors' Shakespeare Project kicks off 2017 with Christopher Marlowe's complex Edward II, England's notorious king who forsakes everything for his public and private passions--only to meet horrific ends at the hands of his queen and his conniving noblemen. ASP is fortunate to bring both the talents of its Resident Acting Company and director David R. Gammons to navigate the intricate theatrical landscape of this historically controversial and rarely seen play.

Performances are February 22 - March 19, 2017 (Press Performance: Saturday, February 25, 8 PM) at the Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill St, Charlestown. For more information visit actorsshakespeareproject.org.

Marlowe uses the tumultuous history of 14th century England to share one man's struggle between self-identity and the demands of his court and kingdom, presented in a taut new version that pares the work to eight characters to suit the intimate space of the CWT and the intensity of Marlowe's script. In the wake of Edward I's death, his son has taken the throne as Edward II (Maurice Emmanuel Parent). His radical ideas around affairs of state, lack of military acumen, and loyalty to his ambitious lover Piers Gaveston (Eddie Shields) pit him against powerful nobles and his calculating Queen Isabella (Jennie Israel). These conflicts lead to Gaveston's exile and murder, new and shifting romantic loyalties on all sides, and revenge and retribution that ultimately seal Edward's fate.

"I question what leader Edward wants to be, and the perspective of the characters on the disruptions to society that will result," says director Gammons. "Edward II was kept off the stage for more than 200 years, in large part because of the cultural ambivalence of its social matter and the spectre of male sexuality as a threat to the civilized order of society and power. It depicts a gay relationship in the 14th century, written in the 16th century, in a way that most stories and lives were not openly portrayed until the late 20th century."

Adds Gammons, "A great deal of inspiration for me with this production derives from the tensions of the 1980s around the AIDS crisis and the government's often ambivalent and hostile responses to it. In some ways, not much has changed in six centuries. This production explores a world where, as then and today, battles are fought behind closed doors, political and intimate betrayals are ubiquitous, and responses to many challenges to convention are unwelcome and received in intense and violent ways."

The cast features both members of the Resident Acting Company and guest artists. Resident Company Members include Maurice Emmanuel Parent* (Edward II) and Jennie Israel* (Isabella). Guest artists are Eddie Shields* (Gaveston), Nigel Gore* (Lancaster), Nile Hawver* (Kent), Alex Pollock* (Mortimer), Stewart EVan Smith (Spencer) and Boston University student David J. Castillo (Prince Edward III),

The production team includes Sara Brown (set), Jeff Adelberg** (lights), Rachel Pudula-Shufelt (costumes), Dave Wilson** (sound), and Arkansas Light **(stage manager).

Tickets
Tickets are $30-$50 ($15 student rush) and can be purchased at actorsshakespeareproject.org, or OvationTix at 866.811.4111, or at the theater, although selection may be limited. Senior discount tickets are $3 off of regular price. Groups of 10+ may reserve seats for select performances via ASP's Audience Services at 617.776.2200 x225 or groups@actorsshakespeareproject.org.

About ASP
Actors' Shakespeare Project is an award-winning professional theater company with a Resident Acting Company and extensive education, youth and community programs. ASP performs and works in found spaces, schools, theaters and neighborhoods to present and explore the robust language, resonant stories, and deeply human characters in Shakespeare's plays and in works by other great playwrights. Our work is ensemble-based and focused on intimacy, storytelling, language, relationships, voice, risk and artistry within and throughout the Boston area. For more information visit actorsshakespeareproject.org.

*A Member of the Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
**Member of United Scenic Artists Local 82


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