It was absolutely great to see everyone at the first reading last night. This play is incredibly vibrant, poignant, and timeless in so many ways, and I'm glad to be part of this process, even in this small capacity.
There are two things that came to mind when I was hearing the play out loud for the first time. The first being the mono-myth quality of the piece and the other the care for which we have to speak Shakespeare's words. Throughout the play Shakespeare sets up this environment of mistrust and unbalance within each faction that allows for someone like Richard of Gloucester to plot the demise of not only the Lancastrian house, but of his own as well. Warwick's hot headed, fickle nature coupled with Edward's impulsiveness create a diversion that may have fueled Richard's choice to try to take the crown. In a Kingdom wrought with unease and incongrous puzzle pieces, the man who can keep his rational mind long enough will eventually come out on top. Richard plays the role of everyone's friend well enough to make his dissembling unnoticeable while everyone else decides to make war over petty disagreements. Warwick was the last straw. The reason I said this is similar to the mono-myth story is because it sets up the perfect scenario by which the anti-hero comes to power: that anti-hero being Richard. Much like how Hitler in the 1930s, The Emperor in Star Wars, or even the machines in the Matrix came to power, Richard seizes on this civil unrest and methodically plods his way to the throne. It took 3 mediocre movies for Emperor Palpatine to do come to power in Star Wars, but the sentiment is the same in both stories. Without the extreme evil, salvation cannot rear its head. There are so many parallels to modern day in this thought that it would take too much time to state them all!
All that being said, this play requires the same heightened stakes in our voices and bodies that are inherent in the words on the page. We cannot make ourselves pedestrian, or else the circumstances will become pathetic rather than exalted. We are Royalty. We are Power. I think Adam's thought of having this production be modern day without the technology is brilliant, because while we may dress the same, we have skipped over the YouTube/blog atmosphere that makes everyone think they can be kings. In this world, only one can be king, and survival is more than just a word at the bottom of a random Politico blog, it is a way of life that carries with it the weight of a physical crown. Because all of us are a part of this select group of people, all vying for control of this kingdom, we are all anointed with the power to lead and the ability to make our own destiny. Any of us could have been Richard; he just did it first.