Shakespeare Marathon – Theatre in the Park

Theatre in the Park presents King John on Monday, April 25, 2016 at midnight, in NC Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC.

DIRECTOR : Director was Ira David Wood IV
Laura Parker
Abbe Frawy
James Merkle
Karen Morgan Wiliams
Lynda Clark
Del Flack
Anthony Ellen
Mike Rumble
Loreli Mellon
Matt Gore
Ira David Wood III
Ira David Wood IV
Jim O’Brien

ABOUT THE PLAY : The events in King John take place in the 13th century, well before Shakespeare’s other English history plays. After the death of John’s brother, Richard I, John rules England.

John’s young nephew, Arthur, has a claim to the throne and is supported by the French. At first, a proposed marriage between the French crown prince and John’s niece, Blanche, calms Anglo-French tensions. Then the pope, in a dispute over recognizing an archbishop, excommunicates John and backs Arthur’s claim.

After war erupts, John captures Arthur and orders his death. Arthur’s guardian, Hubert, prepares to burn out Arthur’s eyes, but then spares him. Arthur dies leaping from the prison wall. Arthur’s mother Constance grieves inconsolably.

Meanwhile, French forces reach England. John submits to the pope to gain his aid. Rebellious English nobles join the French, but return to John when they learn the French prince plans to kill them. English forces under the bastard son of Richard I expel the French, but a monk poisons King John, whose son becomes Henry III. 

 A monk poisons John. His nobles gather around him as he dies. The Bastard plans the final assault on Louis’ forces, until he is told that Pandolf has arrived with a peace treaty. The English nobles swear allegiance to John’s son Prince Henry, and the Bastard reflects that this episode has taught that internal bickering could be as perilous to England’s fortunes as foreign invasion.      

Folger Shakespeare Library. “King John.” Folger Shakespeare Library. n.d. Web. April 1, 2016.