Revolutionary Adaptation of RICHARD II to Hit the Stage at the Stratford Festival's Tom Patterson Theatre

The production, which starts performances on May 23, uses Shakespeare’s text and draws on sources beyond Richard II, including the Sonnets.

By: May. 19, 2023
Revolutionary Adaptation of RICHARD II to Hit the Stage at the Stratford Festival's Tom Patterson Theatre
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Through her many Stratford Festival productions, Jillian Keiley has taken audiences across time and place from Ancient Greece through Nazi Germany to modern-day Newfoundland, as well as to the imagined realms of Fantasia and Wonderland. This year, she takes us into the glamorous and gritty world of Studio 54, at its thrilling heights in the late 1970s to early '80s, with a revolutionary new version of Shakespeare's Richard II, conceived by Keiley and adapted by Brad Fraser.

The second of Shakespeare's epic history plays chronologically, Richard II is a lesson in realpolitik, moral corruption and human fallibility. The life of Richard - whose belief in his God-given right to rule plunged his kingdom into civil war - is reimagined in the 20th century, during a period when Culture Clash gave way to dizzying freedom for the queer community.

The production, which starts performances on May 23, uses Shakespeare's text and draws on sources beyond Richard II, including the Sonnets.

The creative team features Choreographer Cameron Carver, Set Designer Michael Gianfrancesco, Costume Designer Bretta Gerecke, Lighting Designer Leigh Ann Vardy, Composer Rhapsodius and Sound Designer Don Ellis.

"Richard's flashes of inspiration, his boldness, confidence and ecstatic joy all felt God-sent," says Keiley. "What our Richard learns is that these feelings were not the light of God but rather a manifestation of Richard's absolute belief in himself, bolstered by others' absolute faith in God's presence in him. Richard's hell is the turning away of all of those who once saw God in him; the loneliness of one stripped of all power and the desolation of an un-crowned head."

Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, who made his Stratford Festival debut last year as an ecstatically bold Smash in Every Little Nookie and a quirky but endearing John Brooke in Little Women, takes on the role of King Richard II.

The production also features David Collins as John of Gaunt, Jordin Hall as Henry Bolingbroke, Sarah Orenstein as Helena Percy, Countess of Northumberland, Michael Spencer-Davis as Edmund Duke of York and Emilio Vieira as Duke of Aumerle, with Celia Aloma, Malinda Carroll, Sarah Dodd, Thomas Duplessie, Justin Eddy, Mateo G. Torres, Charlie Gallant, Matthew Joseph, Matthew Kabwe, Wahsonti:io Kirby, Heather Kosik, Chris Mejaki, Marcus Nance, Debbie Patterson, Tyler Rive, Andrew Robinson, Steve Ross, Tyrone Savage, Olivia Sinclair-Brisbane, Jane Spidell, Danielle Verayo, John Wamsley, Alex Wierzbicki, Hannah Wigglesworth and Travae Williams

Richard II has its official opening on June 17 and runs until September 28 in the Tom Patterson Theatre. Tickets are available at stratfordfestival.ca or by calling 1.800.567.1600.

The 2023 season also features King Lear, Rent, Much Ado About Nothing, Les Belles-Soeurs, Monty Python's Spamalot, A Wrinkle in Time, Frankenstein Revived, Grand Magic, Wedding Band, Casey and Diana, Women of the Fur Trade and Love's Labour's Lost. For more information, visit stratfordfestival.ca.

Performance Details:

RICHARD II

By William Shakespeare

Adapted by Brad Fraser

Conceived by Jillian Keiley

CAST (in alphabetical order)

Celia Aloma Angel

Malinda Carroll Angel

David Collins John of Gaunt

Sarah Dodd Lady Scroop

Thomas Duplessie Harry Percy (Hotspur)

Justin Eddy Groom of the Stables

Mateo G. Torres Angel

Charlie Gallant Lord Willoughby

Jordin Hall Henry Bolingbroke

Stephen Jackman-Torkoff King Richard II

Matthew Joseph Angel

Matthew Kabwe Lord Ross

Wahsonti:io Kirby Angel

Heather Kosik Angel

Chris Mejaki Angel

Marcus Nance Abbot of Westminster, Angel

Sarah Orenstein Helena Percy, Countess of Northumberland

Debbie Patterson Duchess of York

Tyler Rive Understudy

Andrew Robinson Sir John Bushy

Steve Ross Bishop of Carlisle

Tyrone Savage Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk

Olivia Sinclair-Brisbane Angel

Michael Spencer-Davis Edmund, Duke of York

Jane Spidell Angel

Danielle Verayo Angel

Emilio Vieira Lord Aumerle

John Wamsley Sir Justin Green, Angel

Alex Wierzbicki Angel

Hannah Wigglesworth Queen Isabel

Travae Williams Angel

ARTISTIC CREDITS

Director Jillian Keiley

Choreographer Cameron Carver

Set Designer Michael Gianfrancesco

Costume Designer Bretta Gerecke

Lighting Designer Leigh Ann Vardy

Composer Rhapsodius

Sound Designer Don Ellis

Supervising Fight Director Geoff Scovell

Creative Consultant Sarah Garton Stanley

Cultural Consultant Kwaku Okyere

Intimacy Director Aria Evans

Associate Sound Designer Adam Campbell

Associate Fight Director David Chinchilla

Assistant Director Kwaku Okyere

Assistant Set Designer Freddy Van Camp

Assistant Costume Designer Danielle Fagen

Assistant Lighting Designer B.C. Batty

Assistant Sound Designer Alixandra Cowman

Assistant Fight Director Christina Fox

Stage Manager Brian Scott

Assistant Stage Manager Jordan Guetter

Assistant Stage Manager Scarlet Larry

Apprentice Stage Manager Ciaran Brenneman

Production Stage Manager Meghan Callan

Production Stage Manager Marie Fewer-Muncic

Production Stage Manager Cynthia Toushan

Production Assistant Brianna Unger

Technical Director Greg Dougherty




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