Richard II

After his exile of Henry Bolingbroke, Richard II seizes noble land and uses the money to fund wars in Ireland. But when Henry returns to England to reclaim his land, he gathers an army of those who oppose Richard. Only one can take the throne.

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At a Glance

War • English Royalty • Family • Politics

Artists

Productions, Readings & Workshops

Richard II

April 16 – 24, 2022 | African-American Shakespeare Company | Production | San Francisco, CA, USA

Richard II

University of Evansville | Reading | March 26 & 27, 2021 | Online

Paperback & eBooks

Richard II

By William Shakespeare
Translation by Naomi Iizuka

Shakespeare’s history play reimagined by Naomi Iizuka.

Following the events of the final two years of his life, Richard II interrogates royal power and the forces that threaten it. After banishing his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, Richard begins to lose grip of his throne and strives to find meaning in the churn and chaos of the events unfolding around him. In her new translation, Naomi Iizuka ventures into the mystery of the work, scraping away the layers of received wisdom and cracking the play open for contemporary audiences.

Production History

May 27. 2019

Play On! Festival NYC

Rehearsal and Staged Reading directed by Jennifer Chang with full cast as part of the Play On! Translation Festival in NYC.

Produced by:
Play On! / Classic Stage / Oregon Shakespeare Festival

June 4, 2019

FIRST READS: An Online Educational Series

A livestreamed exploration of Richard II featuring actors from across the country under the direction of Jennifer Chang.

Check out more histories!

Edward III

With invitations by the Scots and his claim to the French throne, Edward III must carefully assess how to both keep his throne and country while managing his ambitions to take the French crown. Assisted by his son Edward, the Black Prince, will Edward III discover triumph or tragedy?

Henry IV – Part I

King Henry IV is preparing for war and is prepared to defend his crown. But his son, Prince Hal, is too busy languishing in taverns and brothels to bother with politics. Will Hal continue to live his lavish lifestyle or will he finally confront his duty to family and throne?

Henry IV – Part II

Henry IV, Part II follows King Henry IV’s victory at the battle of Shrewsbury. But the King’s health is failing, leaving his youngest son, Prince John, to fight the rebels while Prince Hal prepares himself to take the throne. Meanwhile, Hal’s friend, Sir John Falstaff, stirs up trouble in the kingdom.

Henry V

Prince Hal ascends to the throne after his father’s death, becoming King Henry V. England is in a state of unrest, and Henry V must leave his lavish lifestyle behind to take on his responsibilities as king. Winning battles against all odds, Henry V is about how a rebellious boy becomes one of the most powerful kings in England’s history.

Henry VI – Part I

Henry V dies, leaving behind his heir Henry VI to take up the throne. But Henry VI is still too young to govern England. The nobles fight for power in their effort to control Henry VI’s decisions, and the English are in the midst of a war with France. A play about power and control, what decisions will be made that impact Henry VI’s future rule of the kingdom?

Henry VI – Part II

After an intense battle for power between the nobles in England, young Henry VI chooses for his wife Maraget of Anjou, a marriage arrangement that not only increases tensions between the factions of York and Lancaster, but also those between France and England. The Duke of York begins planning his claim to the throne.

Henry VI – Part III

Henry VI does the unspeakable when he demotes himself of the crown and claims York as his heir, disinheriting his own son. Civil war breaks open as the factions between the houses of York and Lancaster fight for the throne. Queen Margaret takes up the mantle to fight for the Lancasters in this bloody tale of power and revenge.

Henry VIII

Henry VIII follows the story of the historical king and his forbidden love with Anne Bullen. In a battle for power and the need to produce an heir to the English throne, conspiracies arise throughout the kingdom, including the question of Henry’s marriages to both Katherine and Anne.

King John

After claims that King Philip of France’s nephew should be king instead, King John rejects the embassy and goes to war with France. In a play about war and compromise, which party will agree to compromise and who will take the English crown?

Richard III

Richard III will stop at nothing to place the crown upon his head, even to the detriment of his own family. Following the events in Henry VI, Part III, Richard III is a story about manipulation, deceit, and a drive toward power.