The Adirondack Shakespeare Company announced this week that their upcoming productions of 1,2,3 Henry VI and Richard III would not only be an opportunity to experience Shakespeare's portrayal of the War of the Roses, but a chance to lend support to modern day war veterans, through the company's sponsorship of the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America).
"Part of the reason that we're so excited about producing these works is because, despite their obscurity, they're so relevant," said Tara Bradway, ADK Shakespeare Artistic Director. "The cycle deals with family, love, loss, war and revenge. The characters may be legendary figures, but their struggles are human. They remind us of the sacrifices that thousands of Americans have made, and are making, every day."
The fundraiser will take place as a part of the performance, with audience members encouraged to choose their side in the War of the Roses, supporting either the Red or White Rose factions. The company will then encourage the audience to show their support with a contribution benefiting IAVA. The side that raises the most will be declared the winner at the end of the evening.
This is not the first charitable effort made by ADK Shakespeare, which has dedicated its time in the Adirondacks towards raising support to fund the restoration of the Schroon Manor Amphitheater, a historic site owned by the state of New York. "We believe that theater and community are intertwined," Bradway explained. "And that theater can be used to change communities. That is what we've worked towards upstate, and what we're working towards in New York City as well."
The productions of 1,2,3 Henry VI and Richard III are presented as part of a larger series called The Kingship Cycle, which covers eight of Shakespeare's early English history plays. The series focuses on the continuity of the stories, with the same actors portraying the same characters as they develop over the course of several plays. The company's unique "Shakespeare IN THE RAW" method strips away all extraneous elements of performance, leaving the audience to focus on the actors and the words, without the distractions of elaborate sets, costumes and props.
The Kingship Cycle opens Friday, March 8th with a production of 1 Henry VI, and will run through April 21st on both the St. John's University Manhattan and Queens campuses. For more information on The Kingship Cycle, or to purchase tickets, visitwww.adkshakes.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org