Starting at $20
Starting at $20
- Presented by: Colorado Shakespeare Festival
- Venue: Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre
- Hellems Arts & Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80302
"Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds."
CSF’s beloved ‘Original Practices’ tradition continues with the gripping history play that’s been mired in mystery for hundreds of years. England’s king is out to capture the crown of France and the heart of a married countess. The cost of his lust? Personal humiliation and 150 years of English battle and bloodshed. This unique, one-night-only performance, inspired by the stage practices of Shakespeare’s own time, is summer’s hottest ticket.
Sunday, Aug. 5, 6:30 p.m.
Edward III of England has inherited a beleaguered kingdom and is determined to prove his worth. Meanwhile, the Scots, led by King David, are intent on conquering the northern cities, while the French have crowned King John—ignoring Edward’s claim to their throne through his mother, Isabella of France. Edward immediately resolves to stop the threat from Scotland and conquer France.
Upon arriving in the North, Edward’s army sends the Scots running from the castle they had besieged, held by the Countess of Salisbury. Edward, a married man, immediately falls for the (also married) Countess and begs her father Warwick to persuade her to be his mistress. The witty Countess tricks Edward, then threatens to take her own life. Her virtue clears Edward’s mind and he re-commits to his duties as king, joining his arming in France.
The English and French armies meet at the Battle of Crecy. The English win and Edward’s son, Edward the Black Prince, is sent into his first battle; when he’s surrounded, Edward III leaves him to fight on his own, arguing that he is learning and must prove himself.
Prince Edward returns in triumph and is knighted, having captured the King of Bohemia. Edward III lays siege to Calais, while Prince Edward pursues the French to Poitiers. The Prince faces insurmountable odds as the English and French prepare for battle again.
In Calais, the French realize they must surrender and Edward’s wife Philippa argues for leniency with the captives; meanwhile, Sir John Copeland brings Edward the captured King David of Scotland. Salisbury arrives with news that Prince Edward’s defeat is certain, only for Prince Edward himself to arrive victorious, captured French royals in tow.
The English celebrate peace, security and the conquer of France: the start of the Hundred Years’ War.
—Hadley Kamminga-Peck, PhD, Dramaturg
Original Practices at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Now in its fifth year, Original Practices (OP) has become a fan-favorite among Colorado Shakespeare Festival audiences. Many of its hallmark features have proved quite popular: universal lighting (because the plays were performed in daylight), live music onstage and the use of direct address. Actors learn their lines from a cue script, which contains only one character’s lines along with the preceding line (the cue)—just like Shakespeare’s company.
Members of our company, too, learn their lines on their own—then, the show is staged through collaboration, in our case often integrating elements of other shows in the current season.
While Shakespeare’s company was comprised of all-male actors, our cast draws on the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s company of talented actors, encompassing multiple genders and leveraging the working relationships we’ve developed over the summer to bring a full Shakespearean play to life in a mere 20 hours’ rehearsal time.
The fights are built from the fights used in other plays—see if you can spot how we’ve reused and adapted the fight choreography from the other shows! All props and costumes were requested by company members; when possible, we’ve tried to identify families and “teams” to help tell the story. And, of course, we have a live musician onstage to contribute to the atmosphere, punctuate the dialogue and help tell the story—along with our onstage prompter, who makes sure to keep things moving along!
There is much we cannot perfectly recreate in our attempt to interrogate Shakespeare’s theatrical practices. Most importantly, we do not have an Elizabethan audience, although our festival audiences are probably as close as it comes! Indeed, every performance sparks a unique relationship between performers and audiences, and moving the show outdoors and identifying key points for audience interaction have helped us to explore this relationship more.
This summer, we return to the beginning of the history play saga, staging the story of the start of the Hundred Years’ War and the king whose offspring would beget the Wars of the Roses (the Yorkists and the Lancastrians descend from Edward III’s five sons). As we continue to learn through the OP process, we hope you enjoy this year’s foray more than ever!
—Hadley Kamminga-Peck, PhD, Dramaturg
This performance is sold out. Please sign up for our waitlist by clicking the WAITLIST button.
News and Reviews
CU PresentsRead the full review - News and Reviews
News and Reviews
A.H. Goldstein, Daily CameraRead the full review - News and Reviews
Outdoor Preshow Talks
Before most performances, CSF offers a free preshow…
Outdoor Cast Talkbacks
Following most performances, remain in the theatre and…
75 minutes before showtime, our grounds come alive…
Enjoy some pre-show entertainment in the Shakespeare Garden…
Shakespeare Garden Tours
The Colorado Shakespeare Gardens (CSG) invites all who…
Shakespeare Gift Cart
Bring home a lasting memory of your visit…
Lorraine/Villers/Esquire 1/Calais Citizen 1
Desirée Mee Jung*
Countess of Salisbury/Frenchman 2/Calais Citizen 2
John of France
Prince Edward/Fight Choreographer
Frenchman 4/French Herald 3/French Captain/Esquire 2/Herald
Lodwick/French Woman/Queen Phillipa
Warwick/Frenchman 3/French Herald 1/Copland
David of Scotland/Gobin de Grey/Frenchman 1/Montford/French Herald 2
Assistant Stage Manager
Costume Shop Manager
Adam M. Dill
Stacy R. Norwood*
Assistant Sound Designer
Plan your visit
Most CU Presents performances take place on the beautiful University of Colorado Boulder campus. Take some time to explore our venues, find out how to get here, where to park and get more tips on what to do while you’re in town.Your Visit - Plan your visit
Accessibility services at CU Boulder
The University of Colorado is committed to providing equal access to individuals with disabilities. If you are planning to attend an event and require accommodations, please contact CU Presents no later than 7 days before the event at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-492-8008.Accessibility - Accessibility services at CU Boulder
2018 Colorado Shakespeare Festival View all events
Start your summer with a frothy, funny celebration of love and learning. In the bucolic Kingdom of Navarre, four attractive young men make a pact to s...
The Bard’s most murderous, malicious and mesmerizing king comes to the CSF indoor stage for the first time. Richard, Edward IV’s deformed ...
The inspiration behind the hit film “Roxanne,” Edmond Rostand’s timeless romantic comedy has it all: passion, panache and thrilling ...
Seize the rare opportunity to see a hit screwball comedy on the professional stage. When Alice brings her boyfriend’s traditional, straight-lace...