Arts & Entertainment

Richard III Comes to Westfield's Mindowaskin Park Labor Day Weekend

0b3d897e31568450c15d_richard-and-anne.jpg
A scene with Richard and Anne during a rehearsal for Richard III. Credits: Troupe of Friends
0b3d897e31568450c15d_richard-and-anne.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — Last year, archeologists found the remains what they believe to be King Richard III buried far beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England. This find inspired Joseph Penczak, actor, director and founder of Westfield’s Troupe of Friends, to choose Richard III as the annual free Shakespeare in the park play this year.

“In the wintertime I usually look at the plays we haven’t done,” said Penczak. “I thought this might be the right time to play him.”

The performances at Mindowaskin Park will take place at 8 p.m. on Aug. 28, 29 and 30, with an alternate rain venue at the Community Room in the municipal building at 425 E. Broad Street.

Sign Up for E-News

In the play, Richard is the power hungry brother of King Edward IV. When Edward dies, Richard has all those in line for the throne before him, including his nephews and sister-in-law, killed. His reign of terror worsens the conditions in England until the Earl of Richmond finally challenges his throne. The night before the battle the ghosts of all he had murdered curse Richard in a dream, foreshadowing that he will be killed in the battle.

The performances are a joint production of the Basking Ridge-based Trilogy Repertory Company and A Troupe of Friends. For the past three years the troupe has teamed up with Trilogy Repertory Company. Richard III was performed this weekend at Pleasant Valley Park in Bernards Township.

In the past, Penczak has taken some liberties with Shakespeare, such as when they performed The Taming of the Shrew in a costumes from a variety of eras. Because opening day for Richard III is the 600th anniversary of Richard's death, Penczak decided to keep the actors in medieval costumes this time.

In order to keep the run time around two hours, some scenes and characters were cut, such as the two children of Clarence, the character next in line for the throne. Another unique change was the gender of not only the actors but of the characters Rivers and Grey. The two are usually the Queen's brother and son respectively, but in this version they her sister and daughter.                     

Troupe of Friends is the moniker of the local band of Shakespeare performers and a reference from a line in the play Macbeth. The troupe has put on plays in Westfield, with the backing of  the Westfield Recreation Department, for the past nine years, always around Labor Day. For the first four years they performed in Memorial Pool Field. This will be their sixth year performing in Mindowaskin Park.

The idea to start a Shakespeare group in Westfield came when Penczak was traveling in New England and saw similar plays in parks there.

 “In Union County there were no plays in the park anywhere and I thought Westfield should have that,” said Penczak.

After talking with fellow McKinley School parents, who he saw helping in their annual plays and had some high school or college experience with acting, the Troupe of Friends was born. Now every year around April tryouts are held in the Westfield Municipal building. Audition dates are posted on the Troupe of Friends website. No experience is required.

All shows are free of charge and are lawn chair- and blanket-friendly. Troupe of Friends is a non-profit organization that is supported by donations and grants from the National Endowment of the Arts.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Westfield

Clark Police Charge Two in Armed Robbery of Quick Chek in December

February 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ – Two people have been charged in the Dec. 10, 2017 robbery of the Quick Chek on Westfield Avenue, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos.

Matos said that Detective Sergeant George Marmarou and Detective Alejandro Yanes performed a lengthy investigation that led to the charges.

Tione C. Davis, 35 of 23rd St. and Meshach Whagar, 29 of South 15th St. in ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_fadfd1c21bc636c673db_schmidt_john_01_pp

Thu, February 22, 8:30 AM

Hilton Garden Inn, Hamilton , Hamilton

Defending Your Independent Contractor & Wage & ...

Business & Finance Education Law & Justice

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Thu, February 22, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Wacky Winter Olympics Open House

Other

Carousel_image_97368eb92d0feb35caf6_img_0082

Thu, February 22, 5:00 PM

Barnes & Noble, Clark

Purim Story & Crafts Hour at Barnes & Noble

Education

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.

 

February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Hamantash Bake at the Torah Center

February 21, 2018

The Union County Torah Center - Chabad will be hosting a Hamantash Bake at its center, 111 Laurel Place, Westfield NJ on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 11:30 a.m.

Participants will learn the techniques and skills for making hamantashen. They will be putting on aprons, preparing the dough, choosing from a variety of fillings and taking home their very own created delicious ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.

 

The ...

Sinai or Sanctuary?

 

 

And in the beginning, G‑d was homeless, and so G‑d asked His people to set Him up with some digs. Where does it say that? Well, nowhere, actually. But it does say that G‑d instructed Moses to tell the people, “They shall make for Me a Sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”

Now the question is, was G‑d really homeless? ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...

Obituaries

Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

Cops Called for Two People Shouting Racial Slurs During ‘Black Panther’ in Sparta

February 21, 2018

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta police were called to the New Vision Sparta Theater on Sunday night after a drunken woman and her boyfriend interrupted a screening of the movie “Black Panther” by shouting racial slurs, according to a witness and police.

Former New Jersey Assembly candidate Michael Grace was in the theater when two people started yelling racial slurs including ...