University of the Fraser Valley and the School of Creative Arts present Richard III starting Wednesday, March 11 at the Abbotsford campus. (Photo by Darren McDonald)

University of the Fraser Valley and the School of Creative Arts present Richard III starting Wednesday, March 11 at the Abbotsford campus. (Photo by Darren McDonald)

UFV Theatre and School of Creative Arts present Richard III

UFV Theatre and School of Creative Arts present Richard III

University of the Fraser Valley Theatre and the School of Creative Arts present the second production of their 2019-2020 season of theatre, Richard III by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Anna Griffith.

The production opens Wednesday, March 11 in building D at the Abbotsford campus, 33844 King Rd.

Richard III raises questions about political corruption and coercion as we follow the story of Richard’s violent rise to power.

Shakespeare offers a portrait of the ultimate villain – a protagonist who is simultaneously charming and ruthless.

The play asks audiences to think about how the characters around Richard are complicit in his bloody maneuvers onto the throne and offers insight about the contemporary political moment.

Griffith is an interdisciplinary performer and director and an assistant professor of theatre at UFV who is interested in exploring a multimedia version of Shakespeare’s ultimate villain and the people who helped him get there.

“The themes of power and persuasion are very relevant in the contemporary political moment,” she says.

“Another new aspect of this production is the way we play with gender as a construct that is both socially and historically situated.

“Since our production is a cross-gender cast, we are trying to separate gender from the identity of the characters and shine a light on the performances of masculinity and femininity.”

The design team has created a world that feels like a slaughterhouse to visually represent the theme of survival that drives each character.

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The designers include Parjad Sharifi (scenographer), Heather Robertson (costume design), Lucy Mulder (hair and makeup design, student) and Steven Bowman (sound design, student).

This production also includes work by Kira Taves (student assistant director) and Luke Pardy (student visual dramaturge).

The production runs at 7 p.m. from March 11-13 and 18-20, with matinees at 2 p.m. on March 14 and 21.

Post-performance talks on March 14 and 20 will give the audience a chance to hear from the actors, the student assistant director, and the visual dramaturge, as well as to ask questions.

A micro lecture titled “Off with His Head” will be offered on Thursday, March 12 at 6:40 p.m with Melissa Walter, UFV English department head and associate professor.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7 p.m.

Seat reservations must be made in advance by contacting theatre@ufv.ca or by phoning 604-795-2814 with your name, number of seat reservations required, and the performance day and time.

All performances are pay-what-you-can at the door with suggested prices of $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, cash only. Visit ufv.ca/plays/ for more information.

Live theatre