by Robert Bell
7:30 p.m. Reynolds Performance Hall. $22-$27.
The next play on this year's Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre lineup is "Richard III," directed by Robert Quinlan. The play follows Richard, the Duke of Gloucester, as he schemes and betrays and murders his way to the throne, letting the audience in on his intentions via soliloquies.
"But there's also something infectious and appealing about this hunchback King," Quinlan writes in his director's note. "He looks us in the eye when he speaks. He's got a wicked sense of humor. He's ambitious ... just like us. What's so wrong with that? It's not until we start to see the intense human suffering and grief that he leaves in his wake that it becomes clear that a leader without a conscience can be a dangerous thing, indeed."
Quinlan also notes that the production blends modern elements into the historical play as a reminder about the ever-present threat of tyranny.
"Richard III" runs June 16, 20, 21 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and July 1 at 1 p.m. at UCA's Reynolds Performance Hall. Tickets are $22-$27.