Written by Gary Graves A Central Works Method Trilogy
Directed by Jan Zvaifler
Produced in: 2012
A Central Works Method Trilogy
A trilogy of plays about an ill-fated crusade in a brutal medieval world. The three plays correspond to the three “parts” of Richard’s great journey to the Holy Land, a quest for absolution from a dark, primal sin.
In Part 1 Richard “takes up the Cross,” and journeys to Palestine by way of a tempestuous “family reunion” in Sicily. Part 2 depicts the disastrous events surrounding Richard’s attempt to re-capture Jerusalem from the sultan Saladin. And Part 3 follows the king’s shipwreck, capture, and final reckoning in a far-off dungeon, the aftermath of the crusade. Taken as a whole, the trilogy is an epic tale of over-arching pride and vanity, a warrior king’s quest for redemption that leads his country to the brink of bankruptcy and ruin.
Background of the project: In 2003 Central Works developed and produced Lionheart (the last great crusade), a gritty, intimate portrayal of a disastrous military adventure in the Holy Land at the end of the 12th century. The play drew striking parallels between events of the distant past and the current U.S. military involvement in the Middle East. Robert Avila of the SF Weekly called the play “an exceptionally sharp and timely portrait of holy war.'” In the intervening years, political events drew us back irresistibly to the story of King Richard’s failed attempt to recapture the Holy City of Jerusalem from the Muslim “infidels.”
This project was made possible with the generous support of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and Wilder Green Fund.
John Patrick Moore*
Costume design: Tammy Berlin
Sound design: Gregory Scharpen
* Member Actors’ Equity Association
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