shotgun archival page
To return to main site, please close this window

by William Shakespeare directed by Patrick Dooley

Figuring out the unabridged history of England is a little like trying to make sense of an organic chemistry textbook. So when I embarked on the dramaturgy for this most famous of Shakespeare's histories I decided it would be helpful if I imparted some of what I have learned to you.

Richard III is the fourth in a series of plays chronicling the era of England's thirty year long, bloody civil war, the War of the Roses. The first three plays in the tetralogy are entitled Henry VI parts I, II and III. The opposing factions in this conflict were the families of York and Lancaster. The gripe was over which family deserved the honor of wearing England's crown. Because the crown was passed down through family blood lines many of those killed were potential crown candidates. It wasn't a good time to be of royal birth.

By the time we come to the reign of RIII, scores of fathers, brothers, uncles and cousins from both families had been slaughtered. What's worse was that, in the case of this play in particular, many of those were killed by their own family members. Richard complains of the "weak piping time of peace," but that's only because the battlefields are silent. Treachery and hatred, however, are still afoot. King Edward's deathbed desire for reconciliation within the family in Act 2, Scene 1 plays as shallow political posturing after the nasty infighting we have just witnessed in Act 1, Scene 3. The scores have not been settled, and the killin's only just begun. Who better to lead this bloody parade than the bitter deformed embodiment of a nation's illness: Richard, Duke of Gloucester. In a play that uses the words revenge, murder, blood, kill, hell and hate more frequently than any other play in the canon, you know you're not in for a picnic at the park.

You're in for a pogrom in a parking lot.

Antoinette Abbamonte as Queen Margaret & Citizen
Sandie Armstrong as The Duchess of York, Brackenbury, Prince Edward, Bishop of Ely, Tyrell & Oxford
Ali Dadgar as Edward IV, Second Murderer & Vaughan
Keith Davis as Lord Hastings, Citizen, Scrivener & Earl of Richmond
Beth Donohue as Queen Elizabeth, Sir Richard Ratcliffe & Citizen
Brian Linden as The Duke of Clarence, Lord Mayor of London, Archbishop of York, & Stanley, Earl of Derby
Michael Storm as Richard, Duke of Gloucester
Marin Van Young as Lady Anne, First Murderer, Lord Rivers, Duke of York & Surrey
Darin Wilson as The Marquess of Dorset, Citizen, Sir William Catesby, Lord Grey & Sir James Blunt
Dan Wolf as The Duke of Buckingham

Patrick Dooley, director
Michael Frassinelli, set design and construction
Cast and Audience, costume design and construction
Christine Cilley, house manager
Benjamin Lovejoy, graphic design
Laura Teutschel, publicist
Marin Van Young, managing director
Patrick Dooley, artistic director

Opened: July 31, 1998
Performed: Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 7:00 pm
Performed At: King Middle School parking lot & Hink's Garage, Berkeley
Closed: September 6, 1998

Michael Scott Moore for SF Weekly
Michael Scott Moore adds two more cents for SF Weekly
Chad Jones for The Oakland Tribune
Kerry Reid, East Bay Express, '1998 Year in Review'

home  |  the 2007 season  |  current show  |  news/awards  |  ashby stage  |  theatre lab
get directions  |  who we are  |  contact us  |  get involved  |  archives



1901 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703