Austin Pendleton to Adapt, Direct, and Star in New Adaptation of Richard III

Off-Broadway News   Austin Pendleton to Adapt, Direct, and Star in New Adaptation of Richard III
The Tony nominee will star as King Henry VI in a new adaptation that combines text from both Shakespeare plays.
Austin Pendleton
Austin Pendleton Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Tony-nominated actor and director Austin Pendleton will direct and star in his adaptation of two well-known Shakespeare plays—presented as a single evening of theatre to tell the story of one of the Bard's most infamous villains, King Richard III. Titled Wars of the Roses: Henry VI & Richard III, the play combines texts from William Shakespeare’s Henry VI Part 3 and Richard III and will debut Off-Broadway this summer at 124 Bank Street Theatre.

Matt de Rogatis as Richard III
Matt de Rogatis as Richard III Chris Loupos

Performances of War of the Roses will begin August 1 ahead of an August 4 opening night. Joining Pendleton's Henry VI will be Matt de Rogatis as Richard III.

“What's always fascinated me about Richard III is how he became to be the way that Shakespeare so brilliantly portrays him in the play named after him” says Pendleton. “I believe the answer to all of this is clearly dramatized by Shakespeare in Henry VI Part 3, the play that leads up to Richard III. So when Matt de Rogatis, whose exciting Hamlet I'd seen a couple years ago, came to me with the idea of Richard III, my first thought was to align the two plays... With a great deal of judicious cutting we managed to get a swift and compact script, and thus we can track the development of this troubled and terrifying Richard from a young man searching for love and acknowledgment to the monster that became King Richard III."

Completing the cast are Jim Broaddus, John Constantine, Milton Elliott, Debra Lass, Johanna Leister, Rachel Marcus, Pete McElligott, John L. Payne, Kathleen Peirce, Greg Pragel, and Michael Villastrigo.

The limited run of War of the Roses, produced by Ruth Stage, is scheduled through August 19. For tickets, $25, and further information visit

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