BWW Feature: RICHARD II to close Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's Summer Season
For the first time in its history, Kingsmen Shakespeare Company will present Shakespeare's RICHARD II with the company's associate artistic director Brett Elliott in the title role and Los Angeles-based actor Hannah Tamminen playing Richard's cousin and adversary, Bolingbroke. Women will also take on many of the traditional male roles such as politicians and soldiers.
One of the few plays to be written entirely in verse, RICHARD II is filled with what critics identify as some of Shakespeare's most beautiful and thought-provoking poetry. Often called a philosopher king, Richard II was certain of his divine right to rule. His faulty leadership, however, gives opening to a challenge to his monarchy and leads to 100 years of dynastic civil war. The play relates the poignant fall from power of one of Shakespeare's most memorable characters.
"We see Richard as the bad king at the beginning of the play, but by the end, as we see him in prison, he becomes almost an empathetic character," says director Michael J. Arndt. This is the 14th Kingsmen production directed by Arndt, the company's co-founder and artistic director.
Returning Kingsmen Company members featured in the cast include Tom Ashworth (John of Gaunt), Ted Barton (Duke of York), Michael Faulkner (Bagot), Jason Rennie (Northumberland) and Jeff Wallach (Bishop of Carlisle). Local community members cast in the production include Camarillo High School English teacher Mark Storer and Rev. George Daisa, the rector of St. Patrick's Episcopal Church in Thousand Oaks.
RICHARD II concludes the 23rd Annual Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival and runs July 19 - August 4th in Kingsmen Park on the campus of California Lutheran University. Performances of are 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. General admission is $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62 and over and active military, $15 for students 18 and over with ID, and free for children. Lawn boxes, which accommodate four to six people, are $90 to $110. Festival grounds open at 5:30 p.m. for pre-show picnicking and entertainment. For more information and tickets, visit Kingsmenshakespeare.org or call 805-493-3452. The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is the professional theater company of Cal Lutheran.