Hillsboro’s Resident Professional Theatre Company Presents The North American Premiere Of A Major Adaptation Of William Shakespeare’s “RICHARD III”
Hillsboro, OR – William Shakespeare’s King Richard is one of the best known, best loved, and most reviled of all the Bard’s villains. His twisted spine and ambitious cruelty are hallmarks of Shakespeare’s great history play; but not in Bag&Baggage’s upcoming outdoor summer performance at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza in July of 2015. In this adaptation, which is the North American premiere of one of Artistic Director Scott Palmer’s most celebrated and controversial treatments, King Richard is perfectly formed and the rest of the historical characters are as twisted and warped as their own ambitions.
Richard III is Bag&Baggage’s seventh outdoor summer Shakespeare production and takes place in downtown Hillsboro over two weeks, from July 22 – August 1, 2015.
Previously produced in Glasgow, Scotland in 2004, Palmer’s Richard III received rave reviews, and a good deal of controversy, for this unique approach. The Edinburgh Review said, “Shakespeare’s Richard III receives a pointing up of the comic possibilities without losing the horror of amoral destruction as Richard steadily makes his path to the English throne.”
“Although this is a very, very different take on Richard III¸it is sort of a traditional approach for us,” said Palmer, whose other outdoor adaptations have included a Kabuki-themed Titus Andronicus, a glam-rock treatment of The Tempest and an all-female Julius Caesar. “It is just our way. We like to try new and innovative things with these great plays so that our audiences know they are seeing something unique, something they can only get from Bag&Baggage.”
The idea for the approach came to Palmer while he was the Artistic Director of Glasgow Repertory Company in Scotland in 2003. “I was talking with the actor I had cast to play Richard and he said something like ‘I love the way that Richard sees the world.’ I immediately thought to myself ‘I bet our audiences would like to see the world through Richard’s eyes, too.’ “
“When Scott asked me to play this Richard, I jumped at the chance,” said Peter Schuyler, a B&B Resident Acting Company member who will portray Palmer’s witty, cruel King Richard. “To shed the hunchback, drop the crutches, and play the character as he sees himself is a once in a lifetime opportunity and, really, is something I could only do at Bag&Baggage.”
“One of the actors asked me the other day how they should prepare for rehearsals,” said Palmer. “I told them to watch a lot of Monty Python, study some Restoration comedy, and brush up on their physical comedy skills. They are definitely going to need them.”
“Richard sees the world in a very specific way,” said Schuyler, who has performed iconic roles like Lenny in Of Mice and Men and John Proctor in The Crucible with Bag&Baggage. “As he wishes it to be. Our Richard will be powerful, strong, persuasive and very, very funny. Imagine how Richard sees Lady Anne, or the young Princes, or old Queen Margaret. When we get a chance to see the world through Richard’s eyes, it is a very funny, and very dark, place indeed.”
Other members of the cast include B&B Resident Actors Cassie Greer as Lady Anne and the Duchess of York, Joey Copsey as Clarence and Prince Edward, Gary Strong as the Bishop of Ely and Queen Margaret, and Eric St. Cyr as Lord Hastings. The cast also includes Portland-based actors Mariel Sierra as Queen Elizabeth and the murderer James Tyrell, and Sam Jones as Lord Rivers and Lord Richmond. Costumes are designed by B&B Resident Artist Melissa Heller.
Richard III is the first show of Bag&Baggage’s 2015-2016 Season. More information on the full season, and information on tickets, can be found online at www.bagnbaggage.org.
# # #
RICHARD III, by William Shakespeare
Adapted and Directed by Scott Palmer
A NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE
July 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31 and August 1, 2015 at 7:30pm
Outdoors at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza
150 E Main Street, Hillsboro
503 345 9590
Editor’s Note: This is an outdoor performance and no seating is provided. Audiences should bring a lawn chair, cushion or other appropriate seating.