Austin Pendleton to Direct New Stage Version of Richard III; Matt de Rogatis to Portray the “Humpback Monster”

New York, New York – Ruth Stage, formerly known as NINE Theatricals, is happy to announce a production of William Shakespeare’s Richard III this coming summer at the 124 Bank Street Theater in Manhattan’s East Village. Sixteen performances will take place between August 1st and August 19 2018. Tickets will go on sale soon and can be purchased through the show’s website at www.proveavillain.com. Legendary theatre journeyman and Tony Award nominee Austin Pendleton will direct. Matt de Rogatis, who has been called by Pendleton “one of the most exciting and original actors I have seen in a long while” will star as King Richard III. Further cast and design team announcements are forthcoming.

This original staging of Shakespeare’s greatest villain will combine portions of the text from King Henry VI Part III with portions of Richard III to create a version of this iconic play that has never been seen before. Pendleton’s vision will show a unique character arch of King Richard III, most noted for his physical deformities, including a humpback, lame leg, and shriveled arm.

In the text of King Henry VI Part III, Richard performs the role of a good brother and subject while secretly behaving with bloodthirsty abandon. Killing Henry, Richard then declares himself severed from a world of family and brotherhood; he stands alone in his quest for the crown.

In the text of Richard III, he is now the central character and villain of the play. Evil, corrupt and sadistic, Richard stops at nothing to become king and once there keeps his subjects and rivals under his thumb. With the two texts combined, Pendleton’s version of Richard III will be a fascinating take on one of history’s most notorious villains. A full scope of Richard’s Machiavellian rise to the throne will be on display in this imaginative adaptation.

Biographies

Ruth Stage (Producer) is a pending 501(c)3 non-profit organization based out of Central New Jersey. Formerly known as NINE Theatricals, Ruth Stage has produced classics and original works throughout New Jersey. This includes tours as well as full productions at their home theater, The St. Rose of Lima Church in Freehold, New Jersey. In New York City, Ruth Stage has produced shows on contract, Off-Broadway, at some of Manhattan’s leading theaters.

Matt de Rogatis (Richard III) most recently performed as “Roy” in Lone Star at The Triad Theater. Before that as “Frederick Clegg” in the United States premiere of The Collector (based on the John Fowles novel) at 59E59 Theaters. Prior to that, he was “Hamlet” in Hamlet at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre. Other New York credits include “The Elephant Man” in The Exhibition, “Ken” in Red, “Charlie Gordon” in Flowers for Algernon and “Stanley Kowalski” in A Streetcar Named Desire among others.

Austin Pendleton (Director) is a director, actor, playwright, and teacher of acting. He began directing (as an adult) when he directed his mother (Frances Pendleton) in a production of The Glass Menagerie at the community theatre (Trumbull New Theatre) which she helped to found. Soon after, he began directing professionally at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where he has directed many times since. His extensive directing includes: Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre (where he is a member of the Ensemble, and has frequently acted as well); Broadway (several Tony-nominated shows, including The Little Foxes, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Maureen Stapleton); off-Broadway (Classic Stage Company productions of Hamlet, Ivanov, Three Sisters, and Uncle Vanya, starring such people as Peter Sarsgaard, Maggie Gylenhall, Ethan Hawke, Jessica Hecht, and Juliet Rylance); off-off-Broadway, and such regional theaters as the Long Wharf, as well as the Whole Theatre Company (with Olympia Dukakis).
His most recent New York acting appearances include City Girls and Desperadoes(by Pamela Enz, the Secret Theatre, LIC); Straight White Men (the Public Theatre, written and directed by Young Jean Lee); and, at the Public in Central Park, Mother Courage (with Meryl Streep) and Romeo and Juliet (with Oscar Isaac and Lauren Ambrose).

His published plays include Orson’s Shadow, Uncle Bob (both produced in New York, around the country, and internationally), and Booth (starring Frank Langella in New York). He wrote the libretto for A Minster’s Wife, adapted from Shaw’s Candida, with music by Josh Schmidt, lyrics by Jan Tranen, conceived and directed by Michael Halberstam, commissioned & produced by the Writers’ Theatre of Glancoe, IL, and then at the Mitzi Newhouse Theatre in Lincoln Center, New York. He teaches acting at HB Studio in New York City.

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