Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati's stage for the classics, presents William Shakespeare's poetic history "Richard II", playing from tonight, January 11- February 3, 2013. This production is directed by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips and features CSC Resident Ensemble Members Giles Davies, Jim Hopkins and Brent Vimtrup. This production is generously sponsored by Charles Parsons and The Mercantile Library's Canon Club, the design is sponsored by Osborne Rohs Williams & Donohoe and the ensemble is sponsored by Messer Construction.
"Richard II" is an epic tale of fading power that sheds a light on the deterioration of a kingdom and the isolation of power. King Richard (Brent Vimtrup) exiles his noblemen while seizing their land to carry on his own wars. As dissent continues to grow, a fight for the true heart of England begins and one man's celestial right to rule is called into question creating the genesis of the "War of the Roses". This production is the kick-off of a chronological history cycle and the penultimate story in CSC's quest to "Finish the Canon".
"Richard II" begins a multi-season history cycle that includes Shakespeare's "Henry IV: Part 1 & 2" and "Henry V". CSC will stage both of these in the future so audiences are encouraged to catch "Richard II" now to start the cycle. This will be the first time Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will produce "Richard II" and it is also the penultimate production in CSC's quest to "Finish the Canon". CSC will have produced Shakespeare's entire canon of 38 plays by the end of its 20th anniversary season, next season. Having already produced 36 of Shakespeare's plays, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company will produce the remaining two titles, including "Richard II" this season and the last during the 20th anniversary season in 2014. Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips has noted that "as the company has produced Shakespeare's less familiar works, like wildly popular "Henry VIII: All is True" and "The Life and Death of King John", audiences and artists alike have discovered something wonderful in each play that expands their appreciation of Shakespeare's artistry and skill."
Brent Vimtrup* (King Richard II) is now in his 2nd season with the company. He was most recently seen on the stage as Henry Baskerville in CSC's smash hits "The Importance of Being Earnest" as Algernon Moncrieff and "The Hound of the Baskervilles". He will reprise his role as Henry Baskerville this June during a run of encore productions. His debut last season included comedic roles in "Bedroom Farce", "Love's Labour's Lost" and "Sense & Sensibility" as well as critically acclaimed roles in "The Grapes of Wrath" as Noah Joad and in "A Man for All Seasons" and "Henry VIII: All is True" as the Duke of Norfolk.
Sponsored by John & Elizabeth Grover.
Giles Davies* (Henry Percy) appeared last season at CSC in "Sense & Sensibility". Since then, Giles returned to the Tampa area and began teaching at the Patel Conservatory, directing their production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream". He directed two productions with the Gorilla Theatre's Young Dramatist Project, and taught Shakespeare with the American Stage summer program. Most recently, he was seen in Jobsite's production of "Fahrenheit 451" as Beatty, the fire chief. Favorite CSC roles inclu de Coriolanus, Macbeth, Richard III, Iago in "Othello", Caliban in "The Tempest", Vladimir in "Waiting for Godot", Trofimov in "The Cherry Orchard", and Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest".
Sponsored by David & Ruth Lahey
Jim Hopkins* (Bolingbroke) is in his fifth season as a Resident Ensemble Member at CSC. He has been seen on CSC's stage this season as Judge Taylor & Walter Cunningham in the sold-out run of "To Kill a Mockingbird". He was featured last season as the title role in "Henry VIII: All is True" and "A Man for All Seasons." He was also seen last season as Don Armado in "Love's Labour's Lost", Duncan in "Macbeth" and Ernest in "Bedroom Farce". He has also performed at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; Human Race Theatre, Great Plains Theatre, Nebraska Repertory Theatre and at Playhouse on the Square in Memphis. Sponsored by Al & Mary Lopez.
Brian Isaac Phillips** (Producing Artistic Director) is celebrating his 10th season of artistic leadership of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. He was named Producing Artistic Director in 2010 after being Artistic Director since 2003. Prior to these responsibilities, he served with the organization as Associate Artistic Director for one season, as well as four seasons as a member of The Acting Company. He is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Mr. Phillips is a graduate of Morehead State University and has been a resident of Cincinnati for almost fifteen years. In that time he has worked for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, The Children's Theatre, Know Theatre of Cincinnati, New Stage Collective, as well as over 100 productions with CSC. Most recent credits include "The Importance of Being Earnest", "Romeo & Juliet", "The Grapes of Wrath", "Henry VIII: All is True", "Macbeth", "A Man for All Seasons", "Bedroom Farce", "The Two Gentlemen of Verona", "The Handmaid's Tale" (world premiere), "The Life and Death of King John", "Dracula", "Blithe Spirit", "Krapp's Last Tape", "The Lion in Winter", "All's Well that Ends Well", "Amadeus", "Timon of Athens", "The Seagull", "Hamlet", "Long Day's Journey Into Night", "King Lear", and "Cymbeline". Outside of CSC Mr. Phillips has recently been seen onstage in "Collapse" at Know Theatre, "Porgy and Bess" at Cincinnati Opera, as well as "The Seafarer" and "Dead Man's Cell Phone" at Ensemble Theatre. He staged Know Theatre's recent production of "Angels in America: Millennium Approaches" and will be directing their upcoming production "When the Rain Stops Falling" and served as dramaturg on Cincinnati Ballet's "A Midsummer Night's Dream". Mr. Phillips is honored that CSC was named as a finalist last year for Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce's Non Profit of the Year. He is also thrilled that after next season, CSC will have produced all 38 of William Shakespeare's plays and, on a personal note, he will have either staged or performed in all 38 as well.
* Member of the Actors Equity Association
** Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society