Welcome to Sacred Fools Theater Company, est. 1997


William Shakespeare's
Richard III

directed by Ben Rock

JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 25, 2012
Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm
plus Thurs, 2/9 @ 8pm & Sun, 2/19 @ 7pm

TICKETS: $20
(310) 281-8337 or Buy Tickets Online

Seek Power. Take Power. Keep Power.

Sacred Fools brings to the stage Sir Richard of Gloucester's unwavering quest to wrest the royal throne from its rightful heirs. Just how far will Richard go and what horrors will he visit on his land and family in the obsessive quest for the crown? Ben Rock, director of Baal - which was named as one of L.A. Weekly head critic Steven Leigh Morris' "Favorite Things" in L.A. theater for 2010 - now focuses on Shakespeare's dark masterpiece tale of sin and corruption... twisted, hacked, and reborn for 2012.

Follow hashtag #4AHORSE on Twitter

Read THE ACCIDENTAL SHAKESPEARIAN, in which director Ben Rock - also an accomplished filmmaker - blogs about why he directs theater.

"...an absorbing presentation with riveting performances from the uniformly excellent cast... fools or not, the people in this company know how to put on a great show." -ReviewPlays.com

Read the full review

Photos


All photos by Chris Millar * Powered by Flash Gallery

Click here for many more production photos!

Cast

Gregory Sims as Duke of Gloucester / King Richard III
Leon Russom as Duke of Buckingham
Eric Giancoli as Lord Hastings
Donal Thoms-Cappello as Sir William Catesby
Buck Zachary as Lord Stanley
Daniel Flapper as Sir James Tyrell / Murderer 1 / Surrey
Cynthia Beckert as Duchess of York
Cameron Cash as Henry, Earl of Richmond / Murderer 2 / Priest
Jesse Sharp as George, Duke of Clarence / Ely / Duke of Norfolk / Bourchier
Dan Wingard as Sir Richard Ratcliffe / Lovell
Kathy Bell Denton as Queen Margaret
Alexis Wolfe as Lady Anne
Charlotte Chanler as Richard, Duke of York
Nathan Wellman as Edward, Prince of Wales / Messenger 1 / Hastings
Cole Wagner as Grey / Dorset / Messenger 3 / Herbert
Kimberly Atkinson as Queen Elizabeth
Chairman Barnes as King Edward / Lord Mayor of London
Christopher Greenwood as Sir Robert Brackenbury / Keeper / Sheriff
Colin Willkie as Earl Rivers / Sir James Blunt / Messenger 4

Understudies

Jay Bogdanowitsch as Sir William Catesby
Shaela Cook as Queen Elizabeth and Lady Anne
Mark Donovan as Edward, Prince of Wales / Messenger 1 / Hastings
Trent Hopkins as King Edward / Lord Mayor of London
Cj Merriman as Henry, Earl of Richmond / Murderer 2 / Priest
Laura Napoli as Richard, Duke of York
Ruth Silveira as Queen Margaret
Donal Thoms-Cappello as Duke of Gloucester / King Richard III
Terry Tocantins as George, Duke of Clarence / Ely / Duke of Norfolk / Bourchier

Crew

Lead Producer - David Mayes
Producers - Chris Millar & Gregory Sims
Associate Producers - Ben Rock & Leon Russom
Assistant Director - Rebecca Larsen
Dramaturge - Julia Griswold
Pre-show Producer - Tegan Ashton Cohan
Stage Manager - Suze Campagna
Set Designer - Tifanie McQueen
Builder - Dave Knutson
Lighting Designer - John Sylvain
Costume Designer - Jennifer Christina Smith
Music - Kays Alatrakchi
Props Coordinator - Brianna Kondrat
Assistant Props Coordinator - Kimberly Atkinson
Fight Choreographer - Sondra Mayer
Community Outreach Coordinators - Jessica Sherman & Emily Donn
Graphic & Sound Design - Ben Rock
Photography - Chris Millar
Board Operators - CJ Woods & Suze Campagna

Reviews

ReviewPlays.com (Recommended!)

One of William Shakespeare’s darkest plays is now lighting up the Sacred Fools stage. Director Ben Rock guides nineteen actors through this massive work with careful regard for authenticity and reverential consideration to the Bard’s intent. The result is an absorbing presentation with riveting performances from the uniformly excellent cast. As portrayed by Gregory Sims, Richard is an unscrupulously ambitious man who stops at nothing to rise to power. Sims succeeds in giving Richard a cynically vile persona, with a certain wicked sense of humor at times. Richard’s partial physical deformity is artfully depicted, at times becoming an asset in his deranged ascent. The character often addresses the audience, as if engaging them into his complicity, then showing how easily he can betray the confidence by ordering the death of a perceived enemy whether justified or not. We first see his treachery when he orders the death of his brother Clarence after trumping up a story that purports a threat from things bearing the letter “G”, (Clarence is George, 1st Duke of Clarence) and the G in his name becomes the threat and he is imprisoned in the Tower of London where he is eventually murdered.

His advisor, cousin and confidant, the Duke of Buckingham, champions Richard through most of his rise, until he is told that he must murder the Princess, Lady Anne so he can connect with his niece, princess Elizabeth. Buckingham’s hesitation eventually becomes his demise, and like many others who opposed Richard, he eventually is separated from his head. Leon Russom is excellent, as he depicts Buckingham’s loyalties drifting from support to opposition.

The primarily male cast is balanced by the strong performances of the women who, even though apparently powerless, have a strong influence on the story line. Alexis Wolfe, as Lady Anne, manages a convincing appearance as the woman whose husband is killed by Richard and later allows herself to be convinced to marry him after he advances a cynical skewed argument. Kimberly Atkinson is excellent as the wife of Edward IV, who at his death names Richard as Protector, but when Edward’s young son becomes king, Richard eventually has him killed as he paves the way to the eventual throne. Kathy Bell Denton is a powerful Queen Margaret, who scowls and curses everyone as the embittered widow of Henry VI who was killed to get Edward IV to the throne. Richard also had her son killed and Denton manages a believable righteous anger at everyone involved in the deception. Cynthia Beckert gives a strong performance as the Duchess of York, mother of Richard and the murdered Clarence who eventually curses Richard for his foul deeds.

As the story progresses, we see Richard becoming more irrational and contradictory. His followers begin to turn away and he is finally drawn into battle at Bosworth Field. It is there that the Earl of Richmond leads his inspired army to a victory where he eventually duels Richard III to his death, taking over the throne as Henry VII (Cameron Cash). Then he marries Elizabeth, the woman that Richard lusted after when he had Lady Anne killed. It is in this scene where the famous quote of "... my kingdom for a horse!" is screamed in terror by Richard who realizes he is facing certain death.

With all the characters and situations the play flirts around with an almost three hour time span, made easily tolerable by the swift and constant action and the tight direction. Scenes flow into one another and the sometimes difficult Shakespearean speech is easily grasped as the actors bring the words to life. This is an excellent presentation and Shakespeare fans will appreciate that it has not been updated, adapted or diversity-cast as many of the Bard’s works are often done. Not that there is anything wrong with that when done properly. But it’s nice to see a play that is close to the original with minimal liberties where the story and the substance of the plot take precedence over the style. But then again, fools or not, the people in this company know how to put on a great show.

--Jose Ruiz
© 2012 ReviewPlays.com


Back to Top

At a Glance
RICHARD III
JAN. 20 - FEB. 25, 2012
Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm
plus Thurs, 2/9 @ 8pm
& Sun, 2/19 @ 7pm
Tickets: $20
BUY TICKETS NOW
Written by
William Shakespeare
Directed by
Ben Rock
Music by
Kays Alatrakchi
Cast
Gregory Sims as Richard III
Leon Russom as Buckingham
Eric Giancoli as Hastings
Donal Thoms-Capello as Catesby
Buck Zachary as Stanley
Kathy Bell Denton as Queen Margaret
Alexis Wolfe as Lady Anne
Charlotte Chanler as Duke of York
Kimberly Atkinson as Queen Elizabeth
Chairman Barnes as King Edward
See the full cast