The Hampden-Sydney Department of Fine Arts' Fall Production, William Shakespeare's The Life & Death of Richard III, opened on Friday, November 10. This play features one of the great villain/heroes ever to appear on stage. The Hampden-Sydney College production explores the inner workings of the conscience of this fascinating character.
The plot of the play revolves around the historical figure of King Richard III. His rise to power and final destruction is a rollicking tour of deceit, espionage, and murder. No character is spared from his influence. Richard, the hunchback King, commits these crimes and crosses most social taboos with a smile and a wink. Ultimately, however, it is questions of conscience that bring about the grand conclusion of the play. From the rarified air of the King's court, to the infamous battle of Bosworth Field, Shakespeare has once again put the world on the stage.
For this production, the historical era has been updated to our contemporary times. As with the best of Shakespeare's plays, the questions and concerns it raises continue to be valid 400 years after the play was originally performed. Audiences will find fun and excitement in this unique production.
This is an actor tour de force for Hampden-Sydney student Alex Mayberry '08, playing Richard, and it also poses an exciting challenge for the other 20 performers playing the 40 different characters that inhabit the world of Shakespeare's play.
The cast and staff for The Life and Death of Richard the Third include Hampden-Sydney College students and faculty, as well as community members and students from the local schools. Set and lighting design, as well as technical direction, are by Brad Stoller. Costume Design is by Shirley Kagan. Director Matthew Dubroff is in his eighth year teaching theatre at Hampden-Sydney College.
Performances will be Friday and Saturday, November 10 and 11, and Friday and Saturday, November 17 and 18, at 8 PM in Johns Auditorium. All shows are free and open to the public. For reservations or information, call (434) 223-6362.