Bill Cain

jenny graham

Bill Cain

Spring Arts Preview: Theater

William Shakespeare, Killer of Kings

Playwright Bill Cain has guts. In Equivocation, his 2009 drama that will be produced at UCSB’s Hatlen Theater this spring, he not only dramatizes the man Shakespeare but also invents a whole new Shakespeare play based on the notorious Gunpowder Plot in which angry Roman Catholics tunneled under Parliament in an attempt to blow up King James I. The idea of a drama based on the Gunpowder Plot comes to the Bard as a “suggestion” straight from King James, and the show’s story follows Shakespeare as he investigates the case and eventually bridles at the thought of writing propaganda. Cain, a Jesuit himself and an extraordinarily erudite scholar of the playwright and the period, has come up with something that’s at once deliriously clever and shockingly direct. As one of the many real-life characters portrayed by the small cast of six puts it to Shakespeare, “You’ve killed more kings than any man in England.” At UCSB’s Hatlen Theater, May 23-31. Call 893-2064 or visit

Jeanne Tanner

A Moon for the Misbegotten

More Theater

A Moon for the Misbegotten. At the Rubicon Theatre, through April 6.

The Last Five Years. At Westmont’s Porter Theatre, March 21-23.

Spring Awakening. At PCPA Severson Theatre, through March 23.

>Noises Off! At SBCC’s Garvin Theatre, March 20-22; and at PCPA Marian Theatre, April 24 - May 11.

Hamlet, presented by Lit Moon Theatre Company. At Center Stage Theater, March 27-29.

Click to enlarge photo

David Bazemore


Metamorphoses. At Ensemble Theatre Company’s New Victoria Theatre, March 27 - April 13.

Bonnie and Clyde, presented by Out of the Box Theatre Company. At Center Stage Theater, April 3-13.

The Westmont Fringe. At Westmont’s Porter Theatre, April 9-12.

Ghost of a Chance. At Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre, April 11 - May 18.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore. At the Rubicon Theatre, April 16 - May 11.

Ground. At SBCC’s Jurkowitz Theatre, April 25 - May 10.

Red. At Ensemble Theatre Company’s New Victoria Theatre, May 15 - June 1.

Collected Stories. At the Rubicon Theatre, May 28 - June 22.

Murder by the Book. At Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre, May 30 - July 13.

This story was updated on March 20, 2014, to clarify that Bill Cain is still a Jesuit.

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