Photo Flash: African-American Shakespeare Company Presents RICHARD III
Closing their 2017/18 Season, African-American Shakespeare Company presents William Shakespeare's RICHARD III for the first time in its 24 year history. A play that explores the Machiavellian rise to power of one of Shakespeare's most fascinating and complex anti-heroes. Kirsten Brandt directs AASC Artistic Director L. Peter Callender as the unapologetic King you love to hate in a play that seems strikingly contemporary and omniscient given its commentary on and fascination with manipulation, power, family, and the right to rule.
When asked about playing Richard III given said political climate, L. Peter Callender replied: "It is a contemporary reality show. Richard plays with his 'followers', bringing them into his thinking and manipulating their thinking to his. So his successes become theirs. They are charmed by him. So his lies (FAKE NEWS?) become their truths; he uses his physical failings and false faith as a way of getting sympathy and in so doing, gives us permission to hate his detractors. So I think it's not so much we 'love to hate him', but perhaps actually hate to love him. But we do. We hate his behavior and his villainy, but somehow inwardly cheer him on."
The production is set in the modern day and keeps the British references, while also reflecting current global politics. "The play is about right now," says Brandt. "The issues we are facing as a nation. And although the show has four amazing women roles (Margaret, Anne, Duchess, and Elizabeth) I have also cast Hasting and Buckingham as women. With our 12-person ensemble, this gives us gender equity in the production."
Adds Callender, "The contemporary parallels are astounding. 'He capers nimbly in a ladies chamber' during 'the winter of our discontent.' It's almost prophetic! In addition, he only has people around him who flatter him (sound familiar?) until late in the play when he loses confidence and his flatterers. When dreams become nightmares and his conscience gets the best of him he literally crumbles to the ground. It is a journey I am looking forward to playing."
Tickets: $30.00 at Brown Paper
www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3066574 / 1.800.838.3006.
Group ticket discount available. Nearest BART Station: Civic Center Show information: www.african-americanshakes.org/productions/richard-iii/
Former Queen Elizabeth (Regina Morones) and newly coronated King Richard III (L. Peter Callender) argues as Richard attempts to tell the ex-Queen her daughter will become his new wife. Photo credit: L
Lady Anne (Brandi Huzzie) mourns the loss of her husband. Photo credit: Lance Huntley
Under Richard's orders, the murderers (Devin A. Cunningham and Brittany Sims) have come for the Duke of Clarence at the Tower of London guarded by Brakenbury (Beli Sullivan). Photo credit: Lance Huntl