Herndon-based NextStop Theatre Company continues its inaugural professional season with a new vision for William Shakespeare’s Richard III, opening this Thursday, Jan. 30 and running through Feb. 23.
However, audiences won't be seeing the typical Richard III.
Directed by Dr. Lindsey D. Snyder, NextStop's unique rendition "re-imagines Shakespeare’s most deliciously evil villain as an ambitious deaf man, ruthlessly seeking power in an hearing world," explained NextStop's producing artistic director, Evan Hoffman.
"I was passionate about the concept for this production from the very ﬁrst time that Lindsey Snyder mentioned it to me," said Hoffman. "This is something that has never been done and an amazing opportunity to bring Shakespeare back to Herndon in a bold new way."
The cast will be led by Ethan Sinnott of Gallaudet University, playing the title role of Richard.
"We are honored and overjoyed to be working with [Dr. Lindsey Snyder] and thrilled to be integrating such talented deaf actors from Gallaudet and the D.C. theater community into our company,” said Hoffmann. "The re-imagining of Richard as a deaf man will bring new meaning and insight to one of Shakespeare’s most complex villains. I have no doubt that Lindsey’s vision for this show will have a powerful effect on hearing and non-hearing audiences alike."
Hoffman said Snyder is a highly respected scholar, actor, director and ASL interpreter, who has worked extensively around Washington, D.C., with organizations such as the Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre, Imagination Stage, Synetic Theatre, and Studio Theatre. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Gallaudet University and is the director of access and inclusion for Faction of Fools Theatre Company.
Sinnott is an associate professor at Gallaudet University and serves as the program director for the theater department, where he teaches directing and scenic design and works as an advocate for deaf theatre. He has also designed for several theater companies around D.C., including Faction of Fools, Imagination Stage, and Signature Theatre.
Sinnott will be joined by Daniel Corey (1st Stage, American Century, Rorschach) as Richmond/Shadow Richard, Rachel Spicknall Mulford (Faction of Fools) as Lady Anne, Carolyn Kashner (Keegan, Olney, WSC) as Queen Elizabeth, and Sun King Davis (Shakespeare Theatre, Keegan, WSC) as Buckingham.
Rounding out the cast will be Zach Brewster-Geisz, Ben Lauer, Sandra Mae Frank, Kevin Collins, Charles Ainsworth, Bill Fleming, Marilyn Bennett, and Mary Suib.
Richard III will also feature the work of several top D.C.-area designers and theater professionals, including JD Madsen (scenic design), Sarah Tundermann (lighting design), Erin Nugent (costume design), Stan Harris (sound design), Casey Kaleba (fight direction), and Kristen Pilgrim (properties design).
Theresa Bender is the production manager, with Samantha Owens serving as production stage manager.
Hoffman is confident the re-imagined show will be an entertaining night for audiences of all kinds.
"This will be more than a play," he said. "It will be an experience that is not to be missed."
When: Jan. 30 through Feb. 23. Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 2 and 7 p.m.
Where: Industrial Strength Theatre, 269 Sunset Park Dr., Herndon
Tickets: Start at $20. Group rates available. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Buy Tickets: Available online at www.nextstoptheatre.org and by calling OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.
Visit www.nextstoptheatre.org for more information.
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