By William Shakespeare
Directed by Gene Simakowicz
"And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
Rounding out the summer season for 2001, Hudson Shakespeare made their first foray into Shakespeare's History plays with Richard III. The last chapter of the Henry VI parts 1-3 play cycle (Minor Tetraology), the year is 1483 and two warring factions of the Plantagent family, the Yorks and the Lancasters, are finally at peace. Richard's brother Edward (Bill Gianelli) is now King after Henry VI and his son were killed by Richard rather brutally in a decisive battle some months earlier. Presiding in this new found peace, the sickly Edward is pleased to do nothing but hold court with his wife Elizabeth (Alma Simakowicz), their children and bring peace among the remaining nobles Buckingham (Michael Collins), Derby (John Trigonis) and Hastings (Marco Montalvo). Richard is despised by the court, despite his wartime efforts for his brother, and feels out of place in this new found peacetime. Resolved to the fact that he cannot carry with these days as others, in part because of his deformity keeps him from polite society, but also that he despises the king for his peaceful ways.
Richard in his opening monologue, sets the stage for his mischief to come
Determined to wreak havoc with the court, Richard sets in motion a series of events to have himself crowned king. First he has his brother the Duke of Clarence (Jon Crefeld) arrested on a trumped up charge of treason and causes his death. Upon hearing of the news of his brother's death, the sickly Edward falls ill and succumbs himself. Richard then maneuvers to have himself declared legal guardian of Edward's two young sons and acting king. In the meantime, Richard seeks the hand of Lady Anne wife to the late Henry VI's son and the man he killed. Though, difficult he wooes, marries and ultimately disposes of her for his royal ambitions. Through it all, Richard is helped by self serving nobleman Buckingham (Michael Collins), Catesby (Cheryl Rossillo) and Ratcliffe (Marco Montalvo). The final act of the sinister playmaster comes when he orders the killings of his two young nephews. Though his personal ghosts come to haunt him, literally, he is unshaken throughout as he fights against the invading Earl of RIchmond (Dan Hawkins), the grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I.
Though evil and trecherous, Shakespeare gives us a villain who invites us in and we find hard to resist. Directed by long time company associate Gene Simakowicz, this production was directed as a modern dress version and set in a tribal setting.
Above left, Elizabeth (Alma Simakowicz) and Lady Anne (Shannon Yancsurak) meet to discuss their familial situations under Richard. Above right, the former Queen Margaret (Oryana Quintero, far left) chastises Richard's mother, the Duchess of York (Elizabeth Sugarman) and Elizabeth for not listening to her warnings of Richard's treachery.
Above, the Duchess (Elizabeth Sugarman) confronts her son Richard (Jon Ciccarelli) as to his wrong doings.
The battle of Bosworth field is engaged.
Above left, the decisive battle between Richard and the Earl of Richmond (Dan Hawkins). Above right, a two hand fight between Lord Blunt (Spiro Papas) and two of Richard's army Ratcliff (Marco Montalvo) and Oxford (Jon Crefeld).
Riverview Park – Jersey City, NJ
Arlington Park – Jersey City, NJ
Church Square Park – Hoboken, NJ
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