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“Star Wars of the Roses” opens at PJC

Published or Revised January 11, 2017

Star Wars of the Roses actors

From top: Sally Boswell as Rumor tells her tale of mystery and mayhem. Cameron Beshirs (left) as Edward battles Jadon McGraw (right) as Warwick for his betrayal to the family of York. Ashley Palmer as Suffolk (at left) entreats Crystal Finney (right center) as Margaret guarded by Kayla Philips (left) and Bryce Crawford (right) to be Henry VI’s queen. Kayla Philips as The Captain (left) sent to execute the deceitful Suffolk played by Ashley Palmer (right).

A melding of “Star Wars” and Shakespeare’s Henry VI cycle will be seen on stage for the first time ever at the Ray E. Karrer Theater on Thursday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. The show will repeat at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday.

“‘Star Wars of the Roses’ is Shakespeare’s Henry VI cycle reduced and adapted to the ‘Star Wars’ Universe, mostly Episodes 4, 5, & 6,” said PJC Drama Instructor and play director William Walker. “We have had the script adapted by Bill Daniel, a Chicago playwright who specializes in adapting to that universe.”

“Since the new “Star Wars” movie recently came out and there is new interest in that universe we felt that this was the perfect time to unveil such a project. This is the first time this cycle has been adapted and produced in this format. We are very fortunate to be the ones to get to stage this fun and exciting take on history’s War of the Roses.”

Walker is not the only one who is excited about the production.

“I play Richard Plantagenet of York, or York for short, who is based on a real life person. In this adaptation he’s a bit of a complicated character,” said Caleb Curtis. “He thinks he knows what’s right for the realm, the kingdom they rule over, but he also has brotherly love for King Henry so it causes a lot of struggle within him. I’m really excited to be playing the character and to being a big part of this because it’s a completely new script and being part of the process, workshopping it, getting into the meat of everything, saying these words that have never been said on stage before is a really, really exciting experience.”

“I’ve never played a king before and you have to dominate the people under you,” said Dalton Smith, who plays King Henry VI. “It’s difficult because I’ve always played the little side characters who are fun. This is the first time in my life I’ve played a real serious role. I’ve spent a lot of time developing the character, researching who King Henry was - and found he was a very gentle king, though still forceful. It was his gentleness that led to his downfall because he was too nice to everyone and that was seen as weakness.

“People should come see this show because: 1) if you’re a ‘Star Wars’ fan it has light sabres, so already amazing; 2) if you’re a Shakespeare fan it’s got Shakespeare so, ‘boom;’ and then, 3) we have some really amazing special effects in the show. I spent hours upon hours working on the lighting effects and the special design effects that we have for the show. So it’s just a complete spectacle and great thing to come see, even if you don’t like literature in itself, to see the show - just see it, is amazing.”

Tickets for “Star Wars of the Roses” are $15 or free to PJC students, faculty, and staff with current ID. For more information or tickets, call 903-782-0488 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Prologue/Rumor - Sally Boswell; Actor 2/Rutland - Shelby Scholta; Actor 1/York - Caleb Curtis; Jango Fett - Bryce Crawford; Richard - Jontel Jones; Actor 3/Winchester/Talbot - Candace Weist; Somerset/Edward - Cameron Beshirs; Actor 4/Gloucester/ Clifford - Amber Nelms; Warwick - Jadon McGraw; Queen Margaret - Crystal Finney; Actor 7/Joan D’Arque - Raven Maxwell; Actor 6/Eleanor - Miriam Castro; Prince Edward - Saveuyon Brown; Actor 5/Murderer/Elizabeth - Stormy Whilhite; Actor 8/King Henry VI - Dalton Smith; Actor 9/Suffolk - Ashley Palmer; Captain/Clarence - Kayla Philips.

Director - William L. Walker; Technical Director - Robyn R. Huizinga; Fight Choreographer - Orion Couling; Costume Designer - Paula Vaughan; Assistant Costumer - Kaye Weist; Make-up Designer - Christine Van Pay; Backstage Crew - Alex Greer, Plensir Willie, Dambri Erwin, Kierra Miller, and Keitron Reed.

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