It's the story of a self-centered man-child, a demagogue in control of the world as we know it. The action begins in a time of great imbalance in the western world. The French have raised an army to refute the English King John’s claim to the throne, and the Pope has sent a representative to stir up some lucrative conflict. John’s supporters grow anxious about his ability to lead, and all his enemies have to do is wait for his next mistake. John seems to live in his own reality; the fate of the modern world depends on his words and actions, but the most worrying thing of all is how little he seems to care.
The Life and Death of King John is one of Shakespeare’s lesser-known plays, but in a modern context feels shockingly familiar. While parallels can certainly be drawn from the play to the White House, the creative team has made it a goal to avoid satire or judgement, in favor of finding their characters’ honesty and reminding us that even our enemies are human beings. In addition to the production, a pop-up gallery on opening night will feature original work from local artists, commenting on themes of the play as well as artistic identity in 2017 America.
Certainly we find ourselves in an ugly point of history, but if Shakespeare has anything to say about ugliness, it’s that it will, eventually, pass.
The Arcade Theatre (at the Underground Collaborative)
161 W Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee WI, 53203
July 12 - 22, 2017
120 minutes (with a 15 minute intermission)
Parking: Free street parking after 6:00pm
Surface lots between Michigan & Clyborne/2nd & Plankinton
The Grand Avenue Mall garage on Plankinton Ave (between Michigan St and Wisconsin Ave)
JAKE RUSSELL THOMPSON
Assistant Stage Manager
MIRANDA FLORES FARLEY
Music Director/Set Designer
TIFFANY NICOLE TRESEMER
Psych Dramaturg/Social Media
BRITTANY ANN HAUT
Richard aka Phillip Faulconbridge