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African-American Shakespeare Presents Modern Verse Translation Of RICHARD II

Audiences can expect a fresh take on the oft-told tale as the drama begins at the end and works its way forward while retaining the lyricism of the Bard's language.

African-American Shakespeare Presents Modern Verse Translation Of RICHARD II

The African-American Shakespeare Company returns this April with their first-ever production of Richard II. In addition to it being in a modern verse translation (by Naomi Iizuka), the director L. Peter Callender is structuring it as a memory play, where the narrative begins at the end and works its way forward.

"I wanted to slim down the play," says Callender, "and present it as if an old reel-to-reel had been found with the new owner splicing the pieces together. The story will be told as we tell ourselves our own stories, which is through memories and dreams, where we have to decide what is real and what is our imagination."

Like any major Shakespeare role, Richard requires a versatile, thoughtful, vulnerable, smart and articulate actor as the verse is lyrical, and its poetry vivid. Lijesh Krishan who has numerous Shakespeare roles under his belt including Hamlet will play the role.

"We begin the play at the end" says Callender "with Richard in prison as a way for the audience to immediately feel a sense of powerlessness from the most powerful character in the play. This as a reflection of the powerlessness of the past 24 months in our own particular little prison, no matter who are where we were in the world! How did we get here? Why? What could we have done better? These are the questions."

Following the unfortunate cancellation of The Glass Menagerie scheduled for February 2002 due to Omicron, this is the first time the company will be staging a live performance since Cinderella in December of 2021.

For more information visit https://www.african-americanshakes.org/ or City Box Office (415) 392-4400.



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