William Shakespeare wrote eight extraordinary history plays that contain some of his most memorable characters and some of his greatest poetry. In 2016, UCSB theater professor Irwin Appel unleashed an epic two-part adaptation of these plays called The Death of Kings that managed to cover the entire story in just six hours. The production, which ran for several weeks at UCSB’s Hatlen Theater, brought together a dream team of actors, designers, and musicians to create an unforgettable experience for those who were lucky enough to see it.
This Saturday, March 16, at 8 p.m, and Sunday, March 17 at 2 p.m, The Death of Kings returns to UCSB, only this time you won’t need to cancel the rest of your weekend plans to see it. A new, 90-minute version called Seize the Crown, which Appel created for the 2017 Prague Shakespeare Company’s Summer Intensive, has been chosen for inclusion in the 2019 season of Shakespeare Southwest in Scottsdale. As a warmup for those performances, the cast will provide these two shows free of charge to the public in UCSB’s Theater Dance West Studio 1507. Get there early if you want to find a seat — these amazing productions are often very popular.