MONMOUTH — William Shakespeare’s portrait of a Machiavellian genius and his murderous quest for absolute power, comes alive on Theater at Monmouth’s stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 13 through Saturday, Aug. 18, with matinee and evening performances on both weekdays and weekends throughout the summer.

Crowned by means of shameless seduction, lies and bloodshed, Richard Plantagenet makes the happy earth his hell as he carves a bloody swath through all that stand in his way. Shakespeare’s “game of thrones” concludes the “War of the Roses” play cycle with one of literature’s most ruthless, remorseless and relentless characters.

England’s civil Wars of the Roses is paused by a period of promised peace, but the scheming Richard, Duke of Gloucester, plots to take the throne following the death of his newly crowned brother, Edward IV, by any means necessary. Twisted more inside than out, Richard hurtles down a path of moral demise and military destruction, setting the stage for a new hero to rescue England and unite the Houses of York and Lancaster ushering in the Tudor reign.

This production delves into the power and agency of the women surrounding Richard III in a world of patriarchal order. While Richard’s political intrigue brooks no obstacles, he cannot seem to stand up to the women in his life who curse him, repel him and defy him. Director Dawn McAndrews says, “It is this part of the story that interests me — the iron will to survive the loss of a child, a husband, and one’s vaulted status that gives one strength to speak truth to power. What if Shakespeare was also praising the sitting monarch for her iron will by creating these powerful women in her image?” The play may be titled “Richard III,” but TAM will take a closer look at the Duchess of York (Richard’s Mother), Queen Margaret (the former Queen), and Queen Elizabeth (King Edward IV’s wife) in this production.

“Richard III” features Bill Van Horn as King Edward IV/Bishop Ely/Oxford; James Noel Hoban as Clarence/Mayor/Norfolk; Jake Loewenthal as Richard III; Mark S. Cartier as Hastings/Tyrell/Herbert; Kedren Spencer as Queen Elizabeth; Janis Stevens as Duchess of York; KP Powell as Stanley; Marshall Taylor Thurman as Buckingham; Ryan Broussard as Rivers/Richmond; Katie Croyle as Brakenbury/Scrivener/Blunt; Amber McNew as Lady Anne/Ratcliff; Bibi Mama as Catesby/First Murderer; Maureen Butler as Queen Margaret; Alexandra Curren as Young Margaret/Grey; Michael Dolan as Prince/Second Murderer; Kevin Aoussou Carr as Dorset/Lovell; Joseph Dolan as Young York. Set design by Kimie Nishikawa, costume design by Michelle Handley, lighting design by Daniel Taylor, sound design by Rew Tippin and fight direction by Leighton Samuels.

Performance calendar: Opening Friday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m.; additional performance dates are July 12, 21; Aug. 1, 3, 9, 14, at 7:30 p.m.; and Aug. 5, 15, 18 at 1 p.m. On July 29 at 7 p.m. a post-show discussion will follow the performance. 

TAM season passes offer up to 25 percent off the single ticket price and exclusive benefits such as priority seating and free ticket exchanges. Gold, Flex, General or Senior Passes are available for purchase. Single tickets for the summer repertory and fall show are $34 for adults, $29 for senior citizens and $20 for students (18 and under). Groups of 10 or more can enjoy TAM shows at up to a 22 percent discount. Groups may also schedule pre- or post-show discussions with tours of historic Cumston Hall. Educators receive 20 percent off the single ticket price with a photo ID. For patrons under 30, twenty $10 Rush Tickets are accessible at each performance in the season when available. 

For calendar and reservations, please contact the TAM Box Office at 207-933-9999 or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.


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