Lit Moon Theatre Company presents
Henry VI, Part 3
By William Shakespeare
Friday, February 17 at 8 p.m.
Center Stage Theater Box Office
BLOODY “WAR OF THE ROSES” DEPICTED IN RARELY PERFORMED “HENRY VI, PART 3” BY SHAKESPEARE
John Blondell’s Staging for Lit Moon Premieres in Santa Barbara
In a gripping, visceral staging of a rarely performed Shakespeare historical tragedy, eight Lit Moon actors depict the blood-saturated events of the English civil war known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry VI, Part 3 presents depicts the dizzying reversals and betrayals that drive the violent action. It also marks the rise of a truly memorable villain, Richard III, who sets forth a rampage of murder and deceit that only foreshadows the monstrous heights he achieves in the series’ next play, which bears his name.
Directed by John Blondell, the Lit Moon production in Santa Barbara anticipates Blondell’s staging of the play for the Macedonian National Theatre in Bitola, who have been invited to participate in the Globe Theatre’s Globe to Globe Festival, presented as part of the 2012 Olympic Games. In that festival, all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays will be played in 37 different languages in the first festival of its kind ever produced.
In support of the production, three free special events at Westmont College feature discussions of the play and its playwright, by a leading Shakespeare scholar and a panel of international directors.
Lit Moon presents Henry VI, Part 3 in five performances at the Center Stage Theater, Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18, and the following Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, February 23, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $26.50 general admission, $16.50 for students, and are available at Center Stage Theater at www.centerstagetheater.org or 963-0408.
About Henry VI, Part 3
Subtitled “with the death of the Duke of Yorke,” the third part of the Henry VIcycle is filled with bloody civil disorder. Not only does York lose his head, but a whole host of lords, earls, and even a king are dispatched. Queen Margaret, one of Shakespeare’s most unforgettable women, rages, schemes and even bullies troops into battle. Henry lives through true terror and sorrow to find hope, and even some comic relief, before horror arises again in the guise of Richard III. Emotionally and physically misshapen, Richard raises his bloody sword and cuts a wide swath that leads directly to the cycle’s next play, which takes his name.
Director Blondell notes, “I think the Henry VI plays are vastly under-appreciated, and staging them today is particularly potent. On the heels of the Arab Spring, and other sites where civil war has, or is about to, break out, the story of the English Wars of the Roses is especially resonant and provocative.”
He adds, “This production is one of the most exciting – and challenging – of my career. I am thrilled to participate in the Globe to Globe Festival, and to first direct this show for Lit Moon, and then for the National Theatre of Macedonia in Bitola.”
“This play is jam packed with action; harrowing death scenes; and beautiful, grief-filled laments. Henry VI, Part 3 accessible, timely, timeless, and utterly compelling, and I can’t wait to show it to Santa Barbara audiences.”
The Santa Barbara Production
The Santa Barbara Henry VI, Part 3 features Victoria Finlayson in the title role, plus Stan Hoffman, Jeff Mills, Brian Harwell, Marie Ponce, Diana Small, Kate Paulsen, and Sara Reynolds. The original music is by Jim Connolly. Lighting design is by Theodore Michael Dolas.
Henry VI, Part 3 at London’s Globe to Globe Festival
Beginning on April 21, 2012, London’s Globe presents an unprecedented program in which 37 international companies will present every one of Shakespeare’s plays in a different language over six weeks. It features many of the world’s greatest directors and over six hundred actors.
The three parts of Henry VI are all performed by Balkans: Milivojevic’s Part 1 is in Serbian, Filipi’s Part 2 is in Albanian, and Blondell’s Part 3 is in Macedonian, performed by the National Theatre of Bitola. Richard III is staged by the National Theatre of China, in their first U.K. appearance, and performed in Mandarin.
Performances of Henry VI, Part 3 at Globe to Globe are Saturday, May 12 and Sunday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit http://globetoglobe.shakespearesglobe.com/.
Associated Free Events Include Shakespeare Scholar and Directors’ Panel
In support of Henry VI, part 3, Lit Moon presents three special events at Westmont College, where Blondell serves on the theatre arts faculty.
Noted Shakespearean scholar Randall Martin, professor of English at the University of New Brunswick, Canada, presents two talks: “Shakespeare’s Henry VIplays: A Modern Perspective,” on Thursday, February 16, at 4 p.m. in Adams 219; and “On Editing Shakespeare,” on Friday, February 17, at 9:15 a.m., in the Black Box Theatre. Martin holds degrees from Toronto, Birmingham's Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Oxford. He has written widely on Shakespeare, and the history plays in particular, and has edited Henry VI, Part 3 for the Oxford Shakespeare (2001). He is currently at work on two books: Shakespeare and Ecology, andShakespeare and Saint Paul.
Innovative directors Nikita Milivojevic from Serbia and Adonis Filipi of Albania join Blondell for a discussion “Directors Talk Henry,” on Friday, February 17, at 4 p.m., in Adams 219. They are the directors of Globe to Globe’s productions of Henry VI, Part 1 and Henry VI, Part 2, respectively. Event venues subject to change, please visit www.litmoon.com for updates.
Leading Serbian director Nikita Milivojevic is recognized throughout Europe for his new and daring reading of the classics. He enjoys a distinguished reputation in Serbia, but has also worked extensively in Sweden, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Macedonia, Greece, and the U.S. Adonis Filipi is one of Albania’s foremost directors and is the Artistic Director of the contemporary theatre festival “Skampa,” which presents some of the finest experimental theater in Europe.