Richard III
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Robert Currier

• Cast and Production Staff
• Producer’s Perspective
• From the Playbill
• What the Critics Said
• Production Photos

Cast and Production Staff

The Characters in the Play

King Edward IV – Michael Schaeffer*
Elizabeth, his Queen – Elena Wright*
George, Duke of Clarence, younger brother to the King – Nick Sholley*
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, youngest brother to the King – Aidan O’Reilly*
Margaret, formerly Queen of England – Phoebe Moyer*
Anne, widow of Prince Edward of Lancaster – Livia Demarchi
Buckingham, a powerful lord at court – Michael Ray Wisely*
Rivers, brother to Queen Elizabeth – David Schiller
Grey, brother to Queen Elizabeth – Jackson Currier
Hastings, a lord at court – Steven Price
Catesby, loyal to Richard – Davern Wright
Ratcliffe, loyal to Richard – Xander Ritchey
First Murderer – Timothy Huls
Second Murderer – Mike Abts
Tyrell, another murderer – Michael Schaeffer*
Brackenbury, keeper of the Tower of London – Chris Hammond
Lord Mayor of London – Steven Price
Citizen of London – Mike Abts
Citizen of London – Timothy Huls
Archbishop of York – Nick Sholley*
Bishop of Ely – Chris Hammond
Stanley, on the side of Richard – David Schiller
Oxford, on the side of Richmond – Steve Price
Blunt, on the side of Richmond – Timothy Huls
Herbert, on the side of Richmond – Mike Abts
Duke of York, son to Queen Elizabeth – Patrick Ewart
Prince Edward, son to Queen Elizabeth – Carl Robinett
Princess Elizabeth, daughter to Queen Elizabeth – Deborah Lagin

Ensemble: MIke Abts, Jackson Currier, Carolyn Doyle, Isabelle Grimm, Timothy Huls, Michael Schaeffer*, David Schiller, Rafael Sebastian, Nick Sholley*, Wendy Wyatt-Mair

Production Team

Director – Robert S. Currier
Producer – Lesley Schisgall Currier
Costume Designer – Abra Berman
Dramaturg – Cathleen Sheehan
Fight Director – Richard Pallaziol
Lighting Designer – Ellen Brooks
Properties and Set Decor Designer – Joel Eis
Set Designer – Jackson Currier
Sound Designer and Composer – Clint Bajakian
Stage Manager – Gillian Confair*
Assistant Stage Manager – Kelly Kassir

* Member, Actors Equity Assocation

Producer’s Perspective

We first met Aidan O’Reilly about ten years ago and immediately realized he was a tremendous talent.  His intensely passionate acting coupled with sharp intelligence and a true love of Shakespeare made us immediately want to work with him.  We offered him a role, but he got a much better offer – for a season of work with our friends at the American Shakespeare Center where they have built a recreation of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Playhouse. Over the years we’d watched as Aidan toured the country performing Shakespeare, self-produced and starred in plays in Sonoma County, and made a name for himself in the Bay Area.  How delighted were we to be able to finally lure him to Forest Meadows, and for what a spectacular role.  By the way, it is of little consequence to his skill or brilliance as an actor, but Aidan happens to be legally blind.

Aidan did not disappoint in this most twisted of Shakespearean roles.  Audiences loved him even as he repulsed and terrified them.  The rest of the sprawling cast was equally strong, as we welcomed new and returning actors to the stage. We were delighted to have two youth actors – Patrick Ewart and Carl Robinette – as our princes (who are killed in the tower.)  Both of them have star potential and we expect great things from them as continue to pursue what we hope will be long careers in theatre.

It was also exciting to work for the first time with composer Clint Bajakian, who created an especially eerie aural sequence for the Ghosts.  This was Clint’s first forray into the world of live theatre.

As our own world totters on the brink of leadership by psychopathic madmen, Shakespeare reminds us that it has happened before, and could happen again.

From the Playbill

Of all Shakespeare’s monarchs, real or imaginery, none has received as much attention of late as that controversial bunch backed spider, Richard of Gloucester, who reigned briefly from 1483-85 as King Richard III.  True, Henry VIII and his many wives are of perpetual interest (witness the popularity of “Wolf Hall”), but no other historical king has enjoyed the wonder, excitement and pomp Richard engendered when his skeleton was unearthed beneath a parking lot in Leicester in 2012, near where Richard fought and died in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485.  DNA tests with living descendants confirmed that the spine, severely twisted from scoliosis, was, indeed, that of Richard, the last English king to be killed in battle, as he tried desperately to hang on to his hotly contested crown. The reburial, with theatrical flair and colorful ceremony, would have thrilled Richard himself.

In the 530 years since his defeat, historians and dramatists have weighed in on his character with inexhaustible zeal. When we first produced this play in 1995, the Ricardian Society (yes, it still exists) asked permission to pamphlet our production with pro-Richard propaganda!  We immediately agreed.  How amazing that people still care so much to defend this poor king so well defiled by Shakespeare.

It is safe to say a large part of the interest in Richard is owing to Shakespeare’s portrayal of him as one of the most wonderful villains in all of literature. Brazen, dry-witted, relentless, and supremely politic.  And perhaps unprecedented in Elizabethan playhouses before 1593, a character who addresses us, the audience, directly, starting with his famous opening monologue, and tells us exactly what evil deeds he plans to perform, inviting us to watch!  Who could resist? He is perhaps the most compelling villain ever penned.

Was he truly this evil? Did he indeed have the young King Edward and his brother York murdered? And put his older brother Clarence to death by drowning in a vat of wine? Perhaps some day the young princes’ bones will be exhumed from under a parking lot near the Tower of London, telling us more of Richard’s true history.

Even then we will still enjoy this riveting masterpiece, slanted as it may be, as Richard himself would have vastly enjoyed our endless fascination with his story.

– Robert Currier, Director

What the Critics Said

“Marin Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III’ features a stellar cast, engaging production and beautiful poetry. Aidan O’Reilly’s performance as Richard finds the perfect balance between believable malice and a touch of humor, which renders the character compelling and deliciously enjoyable. I would highly recommend it as an entertaining evening of villainy, corruption and the triumph of virtue, with more deaths than a season of ‘Game of Thrones.’ ” 
Alexa Chipman, Imagination Lane Reviews

“Aiden O’Reilly plays Richard as a born actor, bursting into tactical tears when necessary, coaxing, seducing, frightening as needed. He pursues his goals with an infectious zest, and his brutal honesty and sheer joy in his own villainy have a strange appeal, as Shakespeare certainly intended.”
Charles Kruger, TheatreStorm

“Marin Shakes artistic director Robert Currier gives the play a solid staging with a strong cast. Aidan O’Reilly is a wonderfully zesty Richard, snarlingly venomous and scarcely able to contain his delight as he recounts his villainy to the audience.  Every body  loves a good bad guy, and Shakespeare provides a deliciously gleeful villain with twisted King Richard….Marin Shakes does credit to the old scoundrel with a worthy finish to one of the company’s stronger seasons.”
Sam Hurwitt, Marin Independent Journal

“Marin Shakespeare puts on enthralling ‘Richard III’….The actors and design team, under the direction of nationally renowned director Robert Currier, execute an enthralling production. If you want to experience a theater production that will move you…treat yourself to a performance of “Richard III.”
Maria Vrabel, Benicia Herald

“I always look forward to a production of Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Richard III.’ A superb up-to-date, fast-paced production of this classic directed by Robert Currier is on hand at Marin Shakespeare Company. The cast is outstanding.”
Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway

AIDAN O’REILLY IS SUPERB IN HIS PORTRAYAL OF RICHARD III!!!….Yet no matter how many talented actors have taken on the part of Richard III, AIDAN O’REILLY here at the very local Marin Shakespeare Company in San Rafael is right up there with the best of them.  He just does a terrific job and I have seen a fair number of RICHARD III’s.…Aidan is so much fun to watch with his naughty boy smile and his supremely politic outlook….Robert Currier has put together an excellent production with a clear directorial view, a riveting fight scene (Richard Pallaziol-Fight Director) , and a strong ensemble cast.  Of particular note, Elena Wright, queen to the dying King Edward IV, glows with her rage at Richard and is every inch the regal queen.  Nick Sholley, playing the Duke of Clarence, Richard’s brother who fails to recognize his sibling’s duplicity, breaks our hearts with his eloquence.  Patrick Ewart, as the younger prince, commands the stage with his physical grace and his sophisticated elocution  and Carl Robinett, the older prince and the heir, holds his own too. Michael Schaeffer works equally well as the remorseful, peace-wishing, ill king  and later, as Tyrell, the heartless, cruel assassin of the princes in the tower. I could go on but there really are no weak links in the cast.  It’s a potent ensemble….This is a production well worth the trip both for AIDAN O’REILLY’s portrayal of Richard III and for the ensemble around him.  Go see it!  Hats off to director Robert Currier for RICHARD III and for a season very well done!”
Marcy Solomon, Words on Theatre

“The lead, a demanding role of drama and menace, is mastered by Aidan O’Reilly….he brings Shakespeare’s lines to life…Standouts include Elena Wright as Queen Elizabeth, who has barely recovered from the death of her husband King Edward IV…Margaret, the aged former Queen of England, is superbly enacted by Phoebe Moyer…”
Cari Lynn Pace, Marinscope Newspapers

“Aidan O’Reilly…I can’t say enough about his performance as Richard. From the start, he exudes evil even when wooing Anne, the widow of Prince Edward, whom he’d just had assassinated- the harbinger to his deadly path to the throne. O’Reilly moves his misshapen Richard about the stage with the strength of his determination…O’Reilly heads a wonderful supporting cast…The show stopper is Phoebe Moyer who plays Margaret, former Queen of England, the dead king’s widow….she was applauded as she exited after delivering a long, emotional diatribe. All in all, the play is enjoyable, suspenseful, and exciting.”
Gaetana Caldwell Smith, For All Events

“Aidan O’Reilly IS Richard. From his opening soliloquy, faultlessly delivered with just the right blend of pathos and ambition, he lifts this complex character from a mere character of unredeemed villainy, into something more human. Ably directed by Robert Currier, to bring out glimpses of humanity amid all the horror of Richard’s mercifully brief reign. Costumes by Abra Berman justapose Richard’s aggressive contemporary military garb with Elizabethan court finery.”
David Hirzel, For All Events

 “I loved it….this production completely captures the current political climate. Richard Currier’s direction that makes this production…it is certainly provocative!”
Kurt Daw,

“…I whole-heartedly recommend – ‘Richard III’ through September 27, 2015. Make sure to catch it before this villain slips away! Aidan O’Reilly was mesmerizing as Richard III. The cast did a fantastic job, fully exploring the woe and terror experienced at the hands of a tyrant king. Robert Currier also did a terrific job directing this play.”
Sarah Amador. 101 Things to Do in Wine Country


Production Photos:

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