October 21 — November 12
About our Show
Eat the rich. Watch the Throne.
SoHo Shakespeare Company marks its triumphant return to in-person theatre with Shakespeare’s Richard III.
The year is 2023. The House of York quarrel and carouse in their Hamptons mansion, but these old-money elites face a threat to their empire from within their own gilded halls. The feeblest among them might prove the most cunning if it wins him what he deserves: the throne, an army, his enemies’ heads. What’s a little murder and mayhem among family?
Shakespeare gets sinister in this bone-chilling drama of contemporary "royals"—the power-hungry corporate elite, infected with resentment and familial trauma. Set to a mash of original music and sound devised by powerhouse composer and looping artist Serena Ebony Miller*, Richard III tells a cautionary tale of grievance and deranged ambition. When we feel unloved, disposed of, and disrespected, we might just kill for recognition.
Directed by Alex Pepperman, Associate Directed by Kanika Asavari Vaish, Assistant Directed by Ahmad Maher.
The cast is led by Jeffrey Marc Alkins* (Mr. Saturday Night on Broadway) as Richard, Jennifer Fouché* (POTUS on Broadway) as Queen Margaret, Tamil Periasamy* (Dopesick Hulu Original) as Buckingham, and Laura Yumi Snell* (Avenue Q Broadway Tour) as Queen Elizabeth, featuring Ruva Chigwedere, Txai Frota, Rob Hatzenbeller*, Karl Hawkins, Che Kabia, Sam Kebede*, Tom Koch, Ben Natan*, Ahmad Maher, Ariana Pérez, Tony Rayner*, Mariela Rivero, Charlie Rodriguez*, Marcus Xavier Stewart, Emily Tuckman*, Katherine Wright*.
The production team includes Heidi Day Wenzel (Scenic Design), Kevin Anderson (Master Carpenter), Serena Ebony Miller (Sound Design and Original Score Composer), Niiamar Felder (Costume Design), Eden Mullins (Production Stage Manager), Jesse Charles Friedman (Text Coach), Mariela Rivero and Katherine Wright (Dramaturgy). Executive Produced by Alex Pepperman; Produced by Abbas Syed and Laura Yumi Snell; Associate Produced by Mariela Rivero.
*Denotes AEA | Equity Approved Showcase
Summary of Shakespeare's
Jealous and crippled, Richard of Gloucester wants to be King of England. To do so, he manipulates and deceives family and foe alike. After his brother King Edward IV dies, he murders everyone in line to the throne: his other brother George (Clarence), all of his nephews and all those who oppose him in becoming King Richard III.
In the end, Henry Tudor of Richmond raises an army, slays Richard in battle, and claims the throne as King Henry VII, uniting the warring branches of the Plantagenet family—York (the white rose) and Lancaster (the red rose)—and ending the legendary War of the Roses.
More detail: 2 minute read
Richard of Gloucester, the brother of King Edward IV, is determined to steal the crown of England for himself. His plot begins as he romantically pursues Lady Anne, whom he recently made a widow. He woos her as she accompanies the funeral procession of her father-in-law, King Henry VI (whom Richard also killed). Anne submits to Richard's advances and becomes Duchess of Gloucester. Richard engineers the imprisonment of his elder brother, Clarence (George), in the Tower of London, and has him murdered a short time later.
King Edward IV is ill, and Richard is appointed Lord Protector to govern in his place, aided by Lord Hastings and the Duke of Buckingham. Margaret, former queen of Henry VI; Queen Elizabeth, Edward's wife; and the widowed Duchess of York, Richard's mother; mourn their state. Margaret curses Richard and the kingdom.
To counter any claims to the crown, Richard confines his nephews, the young Prince of Wales and his brother, in the Tower of London. Buckingham assists Richard's rise to power by helping persuade the Lord Mayor and the people of London to support their faction. When disease kills King Edward IV, Richard is proclaimed King Richard III.
Richard has Lord Hastings, the Lord Chamberlain, executed for attempting to thwart him. Richard also sends an assassin to smother the sleeping princes in the tower. Buckingham suspects Richard's role in the death of the young princes. Then when he is denied an earldom, Buckingham seeks to raise an army against Richard. Richard captures and executes him. Meanwhile, Richard wants Elizabeth of York, his brother Edward IV's young daughter, as a new wife to secure his position as King. He has his current wife, Lady Anne, murdered.
Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond and heir to the Lancastrian claim to the throne, gathers an army in France to oppose Richard's tyrannical reign. Their armies meet at Bosworth in Leicestershire. The night before the battle, the ghosts of Richard's victims haunt and curse Richard, while appearing to Richmond and blessing him for the battle. Richmond kills Richard III on Bosworth Field and is proclaimed Henry VII of England. He plans to end the ‘Wars of the Roses' by marrying Elizabeth of York and becoming the link between the white rose of York to the red rose of Lancaster.
— Shakespeare Birthplace Trust with edits by Alex Pepperman
presented by SoHo Shakespeare Company
directed by Alex Pepperman
*denotes AEA Member | Equity Approved Showcase
The Creative Team
Heidi Day Wenzel
Intimacy, Fight, Movement Director
Assistant to Alex Pepperman
Jim Hendricks, Rita Pepperman, Txai Frota, Andres Jimenez