King John

Directed by Shana Solomon

October 11, 2008

Character Breakdown by Scene and Line Load.

Monisha Chowdhary as LADY FAULCONBRIDGE, BLANCH, Executioner
Nathan Carlos Clifford as LEWIS
Philippe Garcesto as BASTARD
Matt Gordon as KING JOHN
Kimberly Klein as PEMBROKE and French Herald
Andrew Matthews as CHATILLON, Messenger, Citizen, CARDINAL PANDULPH
Bo O'Connor as ROBERT, English Herald, SALISBURY
Brendan Rothman-Hicks as KING PHILIP
Elizabeth Ruelas as CONSTANCE
Crystal Shipp as QUEEN ELINOR, MELUN, PETER, Bigot
Shana Solomon Director

'Mad world, mad kings, mad composition!'
by Shana Solomon

          -King John (Act II, Scene i, 587)

In this election year, King John undoubtedly has a timely appeal. In Shakespeare's lesser-known play, a portrait of Europe's power-players, in which devious papacy, the reviling French, and the divided English are presented- and all come off poorly. Sound familiar?

It's incredible how timely this play is.

Illuminating the darkly comedic nature of the play along with the themes of legitimacy, loyalty, and powerful mothers, our interpretation of King John will explore the corruptive nature of power politics.

The story follows King John, a changeable, mother-dominated, paranoid and opportunist sovereign who has taken the throne of England. A rival claim from John,s child-nephew, Arthur, is raised and supported by France. Intent on keeping the crown to himself, John declares war on the French and initiates an often farcical, always bitter feud over who is the more legitimate heir.

Acting as an engaging commentator, the character of the Bastard, a country boy and the illegitimate son of Richard the Lion Heart, guides us through an incredibly surprising and compelling journey through war, murder, envy and revenge.

As Ben Brantley notes "History has a way of wiping the smirk off the faces of dim monarchs."

Join Shakespeare Saturdays this fall and see it in action!

MoonBeam.Net productions, in conjunction with the New York Public Library presents Shakespeare Saturdays, A Free Reading Series Celebrating the Diversity of Upper Manhattan.

Executive Producer and Resident Composer: Donna Kendall Stearns

Artistic Director: Jason Kendall

Made possible by the generous support of
The New York Public Library

MoonBeam.Net Productions     |     The Inwood Astronomy Project