King John

Stand ins Aidan Cipra (right) portrays King John and Ella Joseph (left) is the Bastard.

William Shakespeare’s story of “King John” might have been written hundreds of years ago, but modern audiences can relate to its themes of corruption and ineffective leadership.

“King John” tells the story of one of England’s least popular kings—whom audiences may remember as Prince John from the Robin Hood stories—and his attempts to hold on to his crown in the face of widespread corruption and public unrest. Combining sword fighting and powerful female characters with moments of poignant tragedy and dark humor, the play exemplifies the disastrous effects of useless leadership. Some scenes may not be suitable for younger audiences.

“Although it tells the story of a medieval king, ‘King John’ provides a mirror to our own world, asking questions about who deserves power and who has the ability to keep it,” director Christina Gutierrez Dennehy said. “With each rehearsal, we discover more modern parallels and more ways in which the play speaks directly to American citizens.”

Thirteen students make up the cast, with about 30 students on the crew, including makeup designer Jake Harris and sound designer Adam Visconti.

The Northern Arizona University Department of Theatre’s production of “King John” will be at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 17, 18, 30, and Dec. 1, 2, with matinee performances at 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 and Dec 3. in the Studio Theater.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and $8 for youth and NAU students. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the NAU Central Ticket Office in the University Union of the Flagstaff campus or by calling (928) 523-5661.