The Colorado Shakespeare Festival

presents Richard III

June 23 – August 21, 2018

“Ay me, I see the ruin of my house!

The tiger now hath seiz’d the gentle hind;

Insulting tyranny begins to jut

Upon the innocent and aweless throne.

I see, as in a map, the end of all.”

Queen Elizabeth, Richard III

In the world of Richard III, the Bard’s most malicious and mesmerizing politician, Richard—the deformed and embittered younger brother of King Edward IV—will do anything to take the crown for himself, including coerce women into marriage, imprison their children, and murder anyone who gets in his way. The dark (and occasionally funny) political drama will feel familiar to fans of House of Cards and Game of Thrones.

Opening at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival on June 22, the play offers audiences the opportunity to enjoy the guilty pleasure of hearing the private thoughts of the ultimate evil villain, a man who ruthlessly seeks the throne by any means and attempts to play God in order to achieve his goal. In this production, Richard is portrayed by CSF veteran Rodney Lizcano.

Historically, the female parts in Richard III have been dramatically edited down, but at CSF, women’s roles are not cut to smithereens as in many productions and films. The women in this Richard III are strong—especially Queen Elizabeth, played by the incredible Betty Hart in her CSF debut.

“From a time when women were often almost completely cut from the script over the last few centuries, what does it mean to give them a voice now?” muses Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) Producing Artistic Director Timothy Orr. “In Richard III, the portrayal and agency of women seems particularly timely.”

Adds Richard III Director Wendy Franz, “The women are the only ones who speak truth to power and who stand up to the murderous tyrant.”

Though the play was written in the 1590s and shares an historic account of the 1490s—or rather, an artful version of it—its themes feel startlingly contemporary. Sure to resonate with modern audiences, it is a haunting, cautionary tale about lies, honor and the dark underbelly of corrupt ambition.

Richard III runs through Aug. 11 at the University Theatre. For tickets or more information, contact the box office by calling 303-492-8008 or online at


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