VA Rep’s Equivocation gives audiences a new insight into The Bard’s life
Virginia Repertory Theatre, in partnership with Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare, debuted its latest production, Equivocation on September 26th.
The play is a biographical account of William Shakespeare, centered around his time writing a controversial piece for the English Crown in the wake of the Gunpowder Plot, a failed assassination attempt against King James I of England and VI of Scotland. Shakespeare is forced to choose between artistic integrity and fulfilling his obligation to his patrons.
Equivocation is part of Virginia Rep’s ongoing celebration of the 450th birthday of Shakespeare. The show’s director, Dr. Jan Powell, recently talked about her experiences bringing this unique show to life, the similarities we can find between Shakespeare’s plight and what we see on the news today, and her relationship with Virginia Rep.
Dr. Powell expressed a great deal of excitement about the play, calling Equivocation “a gorgeous piece.”
Despite being a lesser known production, Dr. Powell believes Equivocation has something for everybody.
“I would encourage people to come out for this one, even if it’s not a show that they know,” said Powell. “It’s really fun and intriguing and intense and exciting. If you like a good thriller, and a good murder-mystery, and if you like really high-quality theatre production, you’re going to really like this show,”
Aside from general entertainment value, Dr. Powell believes that Equivocation has a great deal of relevance to our current political climate. “The play itself really does span the political issues that have concerned us, really, since 9/11. The issues in this play that are addressed are on our minds now,” Dr. Powell said.
In her eyes, such a play is a very important part of who Shakespeare was as a playwright. “He was entertaining people by writing his plays, but he was also addressing the things foremost in their minds.”
“It’s unusual to have a modern production that purports to show anything about Shakespeare. I think it celebrates Shakespeare’s genius,” Dr. Powell said about the unique view it gives into the Bards personal life
. Even if you’re not a fan of Shakespeare, Dr. Powell insists that Equivocation, “is going to be a wonderful experience for audiences who like theatre in general, but not Shakespeare in particular.”
Working on this production with VA Rep Theatre has “been absolutely wonderful,” Dr. Powell said. She considers herself especially fortunate to have worked with, “a really fantastic cast and the marvelous production elements that VA Rep can do. The production itself is really beautiful and very appealing, and the talent we have is really quite special.”
William S. Young is an English student at Virginia Commonwealth University and a prospective professional writer. His work has been featured on iheartchaos.com, rvamag.com, and gayrva.com. William enjoys cultivating himself whenever and however possible, and hopes to someday have an expense account.
The Bottom Line: Light, feel good holiday/variety show play. Lots of charm and laughs. Just what Santa ordered. The women are in rare form at the Hanover Tavern where the Charitable Sisterhood of the Second Victory Trinity Church has “lost” their blue Crèche baby Jesus. He might be stolen. Yes. “Blue.” The reason might have [...]December 5, 2016
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