Struts & Frets: Interviews with the Cast & Crew of Richard III

Welcome back! Did you miss us as much as we missed you? (Impossible). Whether it's your first time or your fiftieth time, welcome to another edition of "Struts & Frets". Here, we'll be serving up a hot, tasty portion of pre-show prep from the cast and crew of our preeminent production. And today's esteemed guest is no less than our titular character, Jarret Kerr as Richard III.

This is a face only a mother could love. Your mother. 
Now, Jarret doesn't pull any punches, onstage or off (ouch!), so he gave us some truly heartfelt answers here; we're talking multiple paragraphs worth. So strap on those reading glasses and hold onto your hearts; here's a little Q&A with the mighty Duke of Gloucester.

HID: Let’s start out easy. What’s your favorite color?

JK: My favorite color is blue because my eyes are blue and I am told blue looks good on me. Therefore, I wear a lot of blue.

HID: Makes sense. What about Richard III's?

JK: I think Richard's favorite color is baby's breath blue. It's just SO innocent and unassuming! Or red like the guts of his enemies. 

HID: What are some similarities you find between yourself and Richard? Besides the hump, we mean.

JK: Being an actor, I relate most strongly to Richard's fondness for showmanship. Here's a man whose desire is to be liked by everyone whilst simultaneously despising them. Not that I despise people in my personal life, but that need to be liked, even by people I personally don't like, I understand all too well. I think a lot of actors want to be liked, and after all, what is Richard but a great actor? 
     Richard says at one point "Tis death to me to be at enmity./I hate it and desire all good men's love". Now of course, this is one of his stratagems to clothe his hatred; however, I believe there is a kernel of truth in that. He does want to be liked but at the same time, he can barely suppress his loathing. I think everyone can relate to that in some way. Society forces us to be civil even in those time when we want to (figuratively) chop off some heads.
     I can also relate to Richard's frustration with his own body: a man whose ambitious mind and desires are thwarted by the broken vessel he's trapped in. I'm sure we all know what it feels like to not like something of ourselves but feel powerless to change it. It's important to keep in mind Richard's vulnerable humanity beneath all his bravado, raging and moxie. Because of how he looks, everyone expects Richard is one way (and they are right to some extent) but they gloss over his humanity and ignore his emotions. Of course, he's more than happy to live up to their expectations. How else could he get even?
     I believe that Richard's nefarious nature is a direct result of the whispered insults and disgusted looks he's endured his whole life because of his outward appearance. Because Richard feels he physically does not belong, his inner beauty begins to warp to match his outward show. In a sense, Richard is only as evil as he's been treated and that's why he decides to get even. An eye for an eye, as they say. I think everyone can relate to that. 

HID: If Richard III had an animal familiar, what would it be? And what would its name be?

JK: If Richard had an animal familiar it would be a frankenstein of a shark and a grizzly. Sharkizzly or a grizzark. The only place Richard feels like he belongs, the only place he feels alive, is in the midst of struggle, either politically or physically. Ideally, in the midst of a bloody, hellacious battle field. The second things calm down, and people start to dance at parties and speak to each other cordially, Richard is uncomfortable, lost, and worst of all, bored.
     Sharks never stop moving, and I get that sense in Richard. In times of peace, at court, amongst the lords and ladies, Richard is a gliding shark, waiting for his time to strike. On the battlefield, Richard is a fearsome, raging, powerful beast - a grizzly bear.
     If he had any powers aside from the power of simply being part shark and part bear, I believe his power would be mind control. Getting people to do exactly what he wants without them even knowing he prompted them to act in his interests. That and maybe X-ray vision so he could see ladies naked that he'd never get into bed otherwise. 

If you weren't already terrified of Richard III, now try imagining him screaming "A grizzark, a grizzark! My kingdom for a grizzark!" Oof, chills.

And while Jarret's an absolute peach, his portrayal of Shakespeare's self-professed villain is rotten to the pit. Don't let yourself down by missing this work of art. Get your tickets today!

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