The Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival will kick off its thirty-second year of staging the best of the bard with the company’s premiere of Richard II at Shakespeare by the Sea. The drama will unfold at the Seabreeze Amphitheater in Jupiter’s Carlin Park July 7-10 and 14-17, then at Shakespeare by the Palms at Commons Park in the Village of Royal Palm Beach July 21-24.
According to festival associate artist Trent Stephens, Richard II packs some of William Shakespeare’s richest language and has “resonated with audiences in ways that speak to their times” since its first performance in 1595. In this play, King Richard’s reign and the ensuing power struggles cause rifts among the great houses of England. Exile, uprisings, imprisonments, plotting, and murder abound in the realm, leading to a loss of faith in the monarchy. Dubbed by many as Shakespeare’s “most dangerous play,” Richard II even had a role in the Essex Rebellion of 1601, which threatened the life of Queen Elizabeth I.
All performances begin at 8 p.m. and are free to attend, but $5 donations are suggested. Outside food and beverage are permitted.