The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

‘Richard III’ comes to DVC for first time

For the first time in the department’s history, DVC drama is gearing up to bring the story of Richard III to the stage with their production of the Shakespearean tragedy that shares its name with its main character.

As this is DVC drama’s first foray into this particular production, one might think a completely clean slate would serve as a challenge to the actors and production staff, but to director Beth McBrien, that seems like business as usual.

“I approach each show I direct without preconceptions,” said the drama area coordinator and faculty senate vice president who is coming up on her 10th year as a full time professor at DVC.

It was McBrien who submitted “Richard III” for consideration a year ago, when the season’s offerings were being set, and she said it was a two-fold decision.

“I suggested Richard III because it hasn’t been done at DVC”, said McBrien, “We’ve produced several of Shakespeare’s classics more than once, but ‘Richard’ hasn’t been done.”

“Richard III” tells the tale of the rise and fall of the real English monarch of the same name, and while the opinions on Richard can range from divisive to downright unlikable, his character is at least unique.

“…He is the only one of Shakespeare’s flawed dramatic main characters that has a sense of self-knowledge and irony about what he does,” said McBrien, “He tells you what he’s going to do, does it, and then says to the audience, ‘What do you think about that!’ “

As with almost all of Shakespeare’s work, language is one of the major hurdles that audience members has to jump over. With dialogue that is littered with innuendo, colloquialisms, and double entendres it has been up to the directors and their crew in past to make changes to scenes and dialogue, as well as actors ability to emote, as a way to “translate” Shakespeare into something that is more easily digestible by audiences.

In this regard, “Richard III” is no different.

“I made the original edits to the script,” said McBrien, “Then as the actors and I worked through the scenes in the play, we made additional edits based on the criterion; Does this serve the story? Does it help the relationship?”

These edits edits, McBrien says, are meant to highlight the major themes of the show and to prevent it from becoming weighted down by excessive language.

Another way to draw in audiences is, of course, with an aesthetically pleasing show as a well scripted one. In the case with “Richard III” DVC drama has a little help from some DVC alums to help give the show flare that many of the departments previous productions are known for. Set designer Jessica Bertine and fight choreographer Cyle Swanstrom both have professional experience and are lending those talents for this production.

Along with assistant director Scott Dare, this production as plenty of professionals lending their skills to make sure this production is as good as it can be.

With an experienced hand guiding it with professional know-how backing it up, “Richard III” appears to have the makings of a strong performer to go along DVC drama’s other strong showings this semester.

McBrien says she is looking forward to being able to sit and enjoy the show as an audience member on opening night.

“The cast and crew have done such a tremendous job working to put this show together,” said McBrien, “I’m looking forward to the culmination of their work as artists.”

III” will be opening on March 15. For ticket pricing and show times, visit

Jeremy Gallarado and Bradley Lorio practice their fight for the upcoming play Richard III during their rehearsal in the PAC on March 7, 2013. (Julia Kinkela/The Inquirer)

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‘Richard III’ comes to DVC for first time