Whitworth’s Richard III steps away from tradition

by Meghan Foulk

Whitworth Theatre opened its doors for parent’s weekend to present a contemporary take on William Shakespeare’s “Richard III.” The Shakespearian tragedy is reimagined from its historical roots to take place in corporate America, stepping away from kings and queens to rooms full of executives and business partners, but still full of the play’s original corruption, power and betrayal.

Directed by theatre professor Diana Trotter, the play opened in Cowles Auditorium on on Friday, Oct. 16, and was filled with students and their families to see the performance. The stage was set by dual screens in the back, which reflected the different modern settings for each scene, ranging from corporate headquarters, The Tower hotel bar and even a coffee shop.

The 7:30 p.m. performance drew many laughs and gasps as Richard navigates through political deals and shifting alliances. Senior Nathaniel Strain’s performance of Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, was captivating and energetic, freshman Megan Fox said.

“I thought that the acting was really good, and that the premise of the play set in the modern times was a really interesting take on it,” Fox said.

The story takes place in the midst of corporate culture, with a long standing dispute between the elite families of York and Lancaster. Despite the peace under the current CEO Edward IV of the York family, his younger brother, Richard, seeks to undermine Edward’s power. Driven by animosity from the happiness of those around him, power-hungry Richard strives to become the leader at any cost, including killing anyone it takes to become the head of the corporation.

The other performances will take place on Oct. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. The general admission is $10, while it costs $8 for students and seniors. Whitworth students are granted admission for free with a valid student I.D. at the door. Tickets can be bought online or before the performance.

Contact Meghan Foulk at meghanfoulk19@my.whitworth.edu

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