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Shakespearean Performances Return to Historic Castle Clinton

By Teddy Grant | June 14, 2017 8:06am
 Billie Andersson, right, performs in Shakespeare's
Billie Andersson, right, performs in Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night." She returns to Castle Clinton as Lady Anne in "Richard III."
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Shakespeare Downtown

LOWER MANHATTAN— A castle will once again become home to one of William Shakespeare’s historic plays.

Shakespeare Downtown will be staging “Richard III” in Battery Park at the historic Castle Clinton. This will be the theater company’s second performance of Shakespeare’s work, after last year’s performance of “Romeo and Juliet.”

“We chose the play because it’s very timely and we have a wonderful actor who plays Richard,” said Billie Andersson, artistic director for Shakespeare Downtown.

The play tells the story of King Richard III, who had a turbulent and short reign as the King of England.  Andersson plays Lady Anne, the wife of Richard. Geoffrey Horne, Andersson’s husband, returns as director for “Richard III.” He directed last year’s “Romeo and Juliet” and has acted in previous iterations of the play.

The company’s mission is to promote classical theater and they feel that Castle Clinton National Monument is the right venue for their shows because of its “open-air, in the round, on the water,” space, according to its website. They want the audience to experience their plays the same way audiences used to during the Shakespearean era.

Evan Olson, 28, a student of Horne's, plays the titular role of Richard III and is looking forward to taking the stage.

“We’re excited for it,” said Olson. “This year we know what space we’re going into.” 

Free shows of “Richard III” begin June 14 and run until June 25, Wednesdays to Sundays. Tickets are available on the day of the performance at 6 p.m, with shows running from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  The theater has seating for 200 people each night.

The venue will be used later this summer by the New York Classical Theatre for its free staging of "Macbeth."