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Arden Shakespeare Gild Presents Shakespeare's RICHARD II, Now thru 6/28

With recent airings on PBS via the BBC's "Hollow Crown" series and a screening of the RSC production with David Tennant and celebrations being held the world over for William Shakespeare's 450th Birthday, the Delaware-Pennsylvania region has seen a mini-renaissance of Shakespeare's Richard II. The Arden Shakespeare Gild celebrates with its own production of Richard II directed by Tanya Lazar. Local actor Greg Faber will play the title role in a cast featuring 19 actors.

Ticket reservations to Richard II are available now through the Arden Shakespeare Gild Box Office at (302) 475-3126 or by email at reservations@ardenshakespearegild.org . The Outdoor setting has limited seating, reserve your seats today!

Told in some of the most soaring language in the Shakespearean canon, Richard II is essentially a prequel to the cycle known as the "Henry plays" -- Henry IV, parts I and II, Henry V, Henry VI, parts I, II, and III - and ending with Richard III. It is a time of civil war, foreign engagements, and family tragedies, all beginning with the deposition of King Richard II and the usurpation of his throne. The split between the families of York and Lancaster over that infamous act led to the Wars of the Roses (inspiration for the popular books and HBO series Game of Thrones), which ended only with the death of Richard III at Bosworth Field nearly 100 years later. However, did Richard II bring this on himself? Having inherited the throne at the age of 10, he was a spoiled and pampered prince, knowing nothing of the lives of the people he governed. Believing himself anointed by God and endowed with absolute power, Richard ruled as he wanted, enriching himself and his cronies at the expense of the country at large and the wealthy nobles in particular, both of whom turned against him in the end. He was a weak and foolish king. His mistakes, born of his own arrogance, cost him his crown and his life. Only at the end of his life, having lost everything, does Richard come to an understanding of what he has done and who he truly is. We follow Richard on his downward spiral from King to prisoner and Henry Bolingbroke, from banished knight to the throne as Henry IV. In the end, each man must face the consequences of his own actions.

Greg Faber will play King Richard and David Hastings will play his cousin Henry Bolingbroke. They are joined by Arden veteran actors Daniel L. Tucker as John of Gaunt, Henry Moncure III as the Duke of York, Melissa Kearney as the Queen, along with new members of the Arden family, Patti Allis Mengers as the Duchess of York, and Jim Ewald as the Earl of Northumberland.

Lazar has previously directed Twelfth Night in Arden and several themed evenings of Shakespearean scenes as well as various other plays in many other local theaters.

Here is a link to the reservation form for tickets, or by email at reservations@ardenshakespearegild.org

Photo Credit: Peter Lounsbury



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