SRU’s production of Richard III utilizes modern touches, dedicated young actors

Published by adviser, Author: The Rocket, Date: December 5, 2013

To the Editor,


The sound of a “magic flute’ exquisitely touched by young gifted hands and the soft background of a gently played guitar accompaniment set at tone for grace in a rendition of ‘Ave Maria.’ Outside the theatre those in line stood silently waiting for the doors to open. No one spoke. Music filled the air.

Inside, sober art, an immense skeleton of Richard III structured in an artistically designed rock formation and a compelling castle-like stage setting invited the patron to return in history to another time and to compelling days of cunning and deceit. The director’s words, an invitation to become a part of the actor’s life at Slippery Rock University, welcomed the audience.

Shakespeare and the young people earnestly pursuing their desire to communication intelligently, spiritually, mentally and physically the minds and hearts of humans caught in a worrisome period in history began, Immediately a crippled Richard III exploded a physically animated disability as well as an ability to clearly portray the animosity of a player in a struggle for the royal lineage of England.

Modern touches, the spike-heeled women, the messenger on a bicycle, among others brought a touch of the comedic, as well a thoughtful method of communication the story to those not familiar with Richard III, into the present.

In remembering the impact of what I call the “Electric Eye,” among the young actors, there were moments of exquisite light in sudden expressions of complete understanding between the character and the actor. The eye, spoken of as the ‘window to the soul’ is electric. It secures the truth, bordering on the sublime intent of the writer, the director and the historical personages.

Why some young story-tellers are willing to be smother by words their meanings, to struggle with little sleep, to remember to dive into the soul of another to exhibit truth through their gifts, is still a question for the thoughtful. Some moments in life are mostly spiritual. The truly focused actor is willing to forgo the modern pleasures of self-indulgence, to reach an understanding of what life has to offer that has deeper meaning and joy of a spiritual value.

Some young people seem to know that they are not alone in this world. There are supernatural forces that lend them grace. They have the capacity to avoid the devastation of pride, to become humble learners, willing to face criticism as well as praise. Usually they know God.



Laurette Cribbins


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