April 6, 2012--The UW-River Falls University Theatre will present "Richard III," a historical play written by William Shakespeare, on April 19-21 and 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Blanche Davis Theatre of the Kleinpell Fine Arts building on campus.
"Richard III" is loosely based on the historical King Richard who reigned in England from 1483-1485, dying in the Battle of Bosworth Field. Though Shakespeare uses this historical figure as the centerpiece of the play, history takes a back seat to the political maneuvering portrayed as Richard and Buckingham scheme to reach the crown at all costs. Richard immediately lays out his intentions to the audience in the famous opening speech of the play, and continues through the piece to confide in them, making them complicit in the action. After much deception and many bloody deeds, Richard seizes the crown, only to find himself a despised despot targeted by the Earl of Richmond. He is finally killed in battle, crying out those now famous lines, "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!"
In order to make the political action of the play more prominent, the production is set in the present day. While the text is trimmed, the traditional language is retained.
Directing the play is Sean Dooley, professor of Theatre. Actors include Danny Vopava (Richard) of New Brighton, Minn., Brittany Oberstadt (Lady Anne) of Inver Grove Heights, Minn., Taylor Evans (King Edward/Richmond/Lovell) of Buffalo, Minn., Dana Clausen (Queen Elizabeth) of River Falls, Charlie Johnson (Prince Edward) of Hudson, Will Clausen (Young Duke of York) of River Falls, Tyler Swanson (Duke of Clarence/Mayor/Messenger) of Lake Elmo, Minn., Tess Bents (Clarence's Daughter) of River Falls, Marie Sallman (Duchess of York) of Roseville, Minn., Becky Jones (Queen Margaret) of New Hope, Minn., Alexander (A.J.) Swanson (Duke of Buckingham) of Lake Elmo, Minn., Jordon Simm (Lord Hastings/Tyrrel) of Durand, Leo Alberti (Lord Stanley) of Minneapolis, Rob Brecher (Earl Rivers/Page/Oxford) of Hudson, Logan Arneson (Lord Grey/Citizen/Scrivener/Brandon) of Bloomer, James Zappa (Marquess of Dorset/Cardinal/Messenger/Surrey) of Maplewood, Minn., Brett Weyek (Brakenbury/Ratcliff/Messenger) of Hudson, Xander Toftness (Catesby) of River Falls, Daniel Risinger (Murderer/Messenger/Blunt) of Roseville, Rachel Schrader (Tressel/Citizen/Messenger) of Eau Claire, and Maddie Weber (Mistress/Ely/Chris/Helen) of Edgerton. Behind the scenes are Lawrence Bennett (Technical Director/Lighting Designer), Denise Baker (Costume Designer), Kenneth Stofferahn (Scene Designer), Shane Donahue (Sound Designer), and Jeff Herwig (Stage Manager).
As a way of saying "thanks" to UWRF theater patrons and supporters, all performances of "Richard III" are free. Seating is reserved, so a ticket is needed. Tickets can be obtained through the University Theatre Box Office, located in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. Box Office hours are Monday-Friday beginning April 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets for remaining seats can be obtained at the box office window starting at 6:30 p.m. on the nights of the performances. For more information or to order tickets by phone, call the Box Office at 715-425-3114.