Free Shakespeare on the Radio: ‘Richard II’
KUER is proud to broadcast a new radio adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Richard II, presented by WNYC in collaboration with The Public Theater.
KUER broadcast schedule (all times MDT):
Part 1 | Monday, Aug. 3 | 8-9 p.m.
Part 2 | Tuesday, Aug. 4 | 8-9 pm.
Part 3 | Wednesday, Aug. 5 | 8-9 p.m.
Part 4 | Thursday, Aug. 6 | 8-9 p.m.
Parts 1 and 2 | Saturday, Aug. 8 | 8-10 p.m.
Parts 3 and 4 | Sunday, Aug. 9 | 8-10 p.m.
About the production
One of Shakespeare’s only dramas entirely in verse, Richard II is an epic, but intimate play. When King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and deprives him of his inheritance, he unwittingly creates an enemy who ultimately forces him from the throne. Directed by Saheem Ali, Richard II is a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity that unfolds in four parts.
Originally intended for the “Free Shakespeare in the Park” performances at the Delacorte Theater in New York’s Central Park, Richard II pivoted to a serialized radio play amid the global pandemic. After the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, the project took on new meaning for the cast and its director.
“A fractured society. A man wrongfully murdered. The palpable threat of violence and revenge against a broken system. Revolution and regime change. This was Shakespeare’s backdrop for Richard II. I’m exceptionally proud of this production, recorded for public radio with a predominantly BIPOC ensemble, led by the extraordinary André Holland,” said Saheem Ali. “It’s my hope that listening to Shakespeare’s words, broadcast in the midst of a pandemic and an uprising, will have powerful resonance in our world.”
To follow along and read the script of the radio play, go to wnyc.org/shakespeare.
Host: Vinson Cunningham
Narrated by Lupita Nyong'o
Shakespeare guides: James Shapiro, Ayanna Thompson
BARZIN AKHAVAN (Salisbury/Marshall)
SEAN CARVAJAL (Gardener's Man/ Surrey)
MICHAEL BRADLEY COHEN (Bushy)
SANJIT DE SILVA (Mowbray/Exton)
BIKO EISEN-MARTIN (Fitzwater)
MICHAEL GASTON (Northumberland)
STEPHEN MCKINLEY HENDERSON (Gardener)
ANDRÉ HOLLAND (Richard)
MIRIAM A. HYMAN (Bolingbroke)
MERRITT JANSON (Scroop)
ELIJAH JONES (Hotspur)
DAKIN MATTHEWS (Gaunt)
JACOB MING-TRENT (Carlisle)
MARIA MUKUKA (Queen's Lady/Servant)
OKWUI OKPOKWASILI (Willoughby/Abbot)
ESTELLE PARSONS (Duchess of York)
TOM PECINKA (Aumerle)
PHYLICIA RASHAD (Duchess of Gloucester)
REZA SALAZAR (Welsh Captain)
THOM SESMA (Ross/Keeper)
SATHYA SRIDHARAN (Bagot)
JOHN DOUGLAS THOMPSON (York)
CLAIRE VAN DER BOOM (Queen)
NATALIE WOOLAMS-TORRES (Green)
JA’SIAH YOUNG (Groom)