Coming Up: Semi Royal Shakespeare

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Ben Rainey and Ellie Ruggeri in Richard III.

From the ever-reliable, totally professional, oldest continuous high school Shakespeare troupe in the United States: From the Semi-Royal Shakespeareans, come this year’s offerings,  a comedy, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and a tragedy, Richard III.

From March 8 – 11, a dynamic group of Mamaroneck High School students will bring these two Shakespeare classics to the state-of-the art auditorium at Hommocks Middle School in Larchmont.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is set in Windsor, England and involves a series of romantic triangles and tests of fidelity to hilarious consequence. The play begins when Sir John Falstaff, facing severe financial difficulties, decides to woo the wives of two of Windsor’s most important citizens in order to get money from them. The SRSC performance is set in modern times and incorporates familiar theme songs from television and movie classics which enhance the comedic, upbeat storyline.

Richard III, one of Shakespeare’s best know political tragedies, is set amid the conflict between the houses of York and Lancaster. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, plots to seize the throne for himself, removing anybody in his path. To cement his power he woos the widow of Henry VI’s heir and has his brother Clarence covertly killed in the Tower. The SRSC adaptation is set in Elizabethan times with a modern twist and fabulous costumes. This is the first time the SRSC has performed Richard III.

These productions mark the 38th season for the Semi-Royal Shakespeare Company. With a cast and crew consisting of over 80 Mamaroneck High School students, under the direction of Dee O’Brien, The Semi-Royal Shakespeare Company is the oldest, continuous high school Shakespeare troupe in the United States. Ms. O’Brien, who taught English at Hommocks Middle School for 36 years, received the Sunny Award for outstanding community service from the Westchester Arts Council Award for her contributions to theater arts. Several cast members are actually the children of former students of Ms. O’Brien’s and SRSC cast-members.

All tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased in advance or at the door, subject to availability.

Merry Wives of Windsor
Friday, March 9 @ 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 10 @ 2:00 pm
Sunday, March 11 @7:00 pm

Richard III
Thursday, March 8 @ 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 10 @ 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 11 @ 1:00 pm

photo: Linnet Tse

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