Last night I went to see Shakespeare's Richard III at Baker College at Rice. Baker Shakespeare began in 1970 and is Houston's oldest continuous Shakespeare festival. All performances are staged in the Baker Commons with actors and crew from all of the residential colleges.
My friend Alice played Queen Margaret. I have seen her in two other performances at Rice but this was the first time she played a major character and the first time I was able to see how truly talented she is. Alice is the serials cataloger for Fondren Library and when she's not busy working or acting she also plays the piano, sings, and dances.
Here is a description of the play from the Baker website:
"William Shakespeare's Richard the Third dramatizes the rise and fall of one of the most sinister figures in English history, the evil King Richard. Shakespeare uses the occult to finally unhinge his nearly conscience-less villain, but the sinister forces at work infuse all of the players in this political drama with fear and guilt.
A gaping maw in the center of the stage dominates much of the action, a pit marking the boundary between this world and the next, into which all of the characters eventually tumble as they spiral closer and closer to destruction.
One of the most famous histories, this version of Richard the Third disconnects the action from time, leaving it floating between eras as characters remain eerily trapped in an ancient mindset from which they cannot break - until enough mutual hate has focused on Richard to clear away the numerous other vendettas among the characters. An angel of death figure haunts Richard and the stage, showing the blood left in the wake of Richard's relentless ambition. This personal look at the characters of history, the fear in every heart and the blood on every pair of hands, questions the simple dichotomy of blame used throughout the play without forgiving in the least the ruthless murder of brothers, allies, and nephews Richard gleefully orchestrates. A modern look at an old story, this history will come alive and send shivers down your spine."
There will be more performances next week and the tickets are only $10.00. For more information see www.rice.edu/bakershake