Richard III by William Shakespeare

South Dakota Shakespeare Festival, Vermillion, SD 2018

Alyssa Anderson as Lady Anne and Jeff Rabb as Richard

Director’s Note

The nation is bitterly divided by partisanship and politics. People are scarcely able to credit the humanity of those on the other side of the conflict. Women’s words are dismissed, discounted, and only finally heard far too late. There are regular and increasingly daring transgressions of the rule of law. Large numbers of people knowingly accept that they are being misled by their leaders. Collusion walks alongside complicity, which leads to shameless grasping after power, prestige, and riches. Powerful men look the other way while an arrogant, determined, and narcissistic leader stages elaborate political scenes and spreads fake news throughout the land.

This is Richard of Gloucester’s England as Shakespeare reveals it to us.

What did you think I meant?

This Richard wants power very badly, and will act very badly in order to secure it. Psychiatrist James Gilligan wrote, “All violence is an attempt to replace shame with self-esteem.” As you watch tonight, you might look to discover the roots of Richard’s shame as well as the fleeting nature of confidence achieved through violence. Who does Richard trust? Who trusts him? Who goes along with his plans because they expect to benefit? Who looks the other way? Does a troubled country get the troubled leader it deserves? How do we restore order?

Katie Tuminelly as Margaret

Having a vision of the way ahead is fundamental.
– Deborah Warner

You lie, in faith, for you are called plain Kate,
And bonny Kate, and sometimes Kate the curst;
But Kate, the prettiest Kate in Christendom,
Kate of Kate Hall, my super-dainty Kate,
For dainties are all Kates, and therefore, Kate,
Take this of me, Kate of my consolation…
--The Taming of the Shrew, Act II, scene i