Richard the Third

Richard the Third

What does it look like when a man with no scruples stops at nothing to gain power? If you’re unsure, Richard of Gloucester will gladly demonstrate with bottomless ambition and ruthless cunning: the crown, at all costs. As he climbs ever higher, Richard bends the world to his will until even his mother can’t bear to own him.

Shakespeare’s mesmerizing chronicle of the megalomaniac’s rampage to the throne remains an irresistible study of villainy and of our alarming addiction to its exploits. Featuring a cast of D.C. favorites and led by Matthew Rauch (Cinemax’s Banshee, Broadway’s JunkThe Merchant of Venice), director David Muse returns to STC after his hit production of King Charles III, rendered “more incisively than…in its Broadway incarnation” (The Washington Post).


“★★★★★…fantastically devious and delightfully fun.” –Metro Weekly

“DELICIOUSLY COMPLEX…a dark and fascinating journey.” –BroadwayWorld

“MEMORABLE…Matthew Rauch’s Richard teaches a master class in duplicity and manipulation.” –DC Metro Theater Arts

“RIVETING…David Muse is a brilliant director and he brings out the best in his actors.” –The Georgetown Dish

“Its sinister and dark delivery takes Shakespeare’s title character to a new level of villainy.” –PG County Sentinel

“There are some outstanding performances swimming in all the blood, particularly among the women.” –Brightest Young Things

From the Director
David Muse

Richard the Third is a great play for now. It’s about a heartless man, a con artist, a man obsessed with winning and power, a misogynist, a spinner of news and misinformation, a man who thrives by beating others, a man who uses and discards people.

It’s about how a country responds to a leader like this. We watch people negotiate with their own mortality, align themselves with power and resist secretly if at all.

It’s about the inescapable magnetism of a certain brand of vileness, our inability to resist being drawn in, the danger of manipulation on a massive scale.

The play is a challenge for a director. It takes for granted familiarity with British history, some of the most interesting developments are carried by a handful of lines that are easy to miss, and the whole thing can be a slog if it isn’t handled well. I’m after a production that combats those challenges head-on: something that is clear, surprising, often genuinely funny, and shocking in its parallels to the contemporary moment.

All titles, artists and dates subject to change.