With additional material from Thomas of Woodstock, an anonymous Elizabethan play sometimes attributed to Shakespeare.
“The ripest fruit first falls.”
King Richard neglects his subjects and spends lavishly, giving rise to his charismatic cousin Henry Bolingbroke. As the battle to rule England approaches, Richard’s supporters abandon him for his rival. Will Richard learn what it means to be a king before he loses the crown? Written entirely in verse, Richard II contains some of Shakespeare’s most thrilling language. Director Michael Kahn’s previous examination of this troubled leader was hailed by The New York Times as “an evening of dynamic jolts and surprises.” Richard II plays in repertory with Henry V.
“We picked two contrasting plays: Richard II, about a leader who is born with power and misuses it but then, as that power is stripped from him, learns what it means to be a human being; and Henry V, about a flawed human being who learns what it means to be a great leader…It really interested me to deal with an issue that was on everyone’s mind before the presidential election and still is today: what are the qualities we look for in a great leader in a time of crisis?”
–Michael Kahn (director) in An American Classic: Shakespeare Theatre Company
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