Richard III 2.0

I am excited to be developing a new theatre piece, a fresh version of Richard the Third, combining verbatim theatre with the Shakespearean text – and especially thrilled to have the opportunity to portray and explore the role of Lady Anne! Despite being very familiar with the play, I have somewhat overlooked this wonderfully complex character in the past and it is quickly becoming one of my favourite Shakespearean roles.

Written and co-produced by Nicholas Linnehan, co-founder of  Identity Theater Company, the theatre piece in development explores varieties and meaning of ability, intertwining original verse with personal stories of physically and spiritually differently abled characters. Also co-producing is Nicholas Viselli, the Artistic Director of Theatre Breaking Through Barriers, the only professional Off-Broadway theater organization dedicated to advancing artists and developing audiences of people with disabilities, currently celebrating their 40th season.

I am thrilled to be working with wonderful fellow actors, such as Ann Marie Morelli of TBTB, Ross Hewitt of American Bard Theater Company, Daniela Thome, Richard Rose, Keith Murfee-Deconcini of Arizona Theatre Company and others – all inspiring professionals with long-standing reputation in theatre art and business.

Who and why do we consider disable? Isn’t being “evil” / incapable of empathy a stronger disability than any physical one? What affect person’s behaviour, drives and actions – and who is to blame for the sometimes terrible consequences? These and similar questions were our starting point and I am excited to dive deeper into this complex exploration.

             Edwin Austin Abbey, Richard, Duke of Gloucester, and the Lady Anne, 1897. New Haven, CT, Yale University Art Gallery.

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