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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Theatre and Dance


The Three Musketeers | April 17-25 | Drayton Hall Theatre

Daring action, dashing romance and raucous humor are in store as Theatre SC presents Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of the classic swashbuckler, "The Three Musketeers," April 17-25 at Drayton Hall Theatre.

Theatre South Carolina
presents

The Three Musketeers

by Ken Ludwig
Adapted from the Novel by Alexandre Dumas
Directed by Robert Richmond

April 17-25, 2015

Drayton Hall Theatre
1214 College St.

Show Times:
Friday, April 17: 8pm
Saturday, April 18: 8pm
Sunday, April 19: 3pm
Wednesday, April 22: 8pm
Thursday, April 23: 8pm
Friday, April 24: 8pm
Saturday, April 25: 3pm & 8pm

Tickets:
$12  |  Students
$16  |  USC Faculty/Staff, Military and Seniors 60+
$18  |  General Admission

Box Office: 777-2551
Or purchase in person at Longstreet Theatre.  Box office opens April 10. 
Box Office Hours: 12:30pm - 5:30pm, Monday - Friday


This 2006 adaptation by playwright Ken Ludwig (Lend Me A Tenor) is a rousing, thrill-filled spin on Alexandre Dumas’ adventure tale. As in the original novel, the story begins as the impetuous, young d’Artagnan journeys to Paris on a quest to find a place of honor alongside the Musketeers, legendary protectors of the French monarchy. Ludwig adds a mischievous twist to the tale, however; in this version, the young hero is forced to bring along his headstrong kid sister, Sabine. The two soon become entangled in the courageous exploits of Athos, Porthos and Aramis, finding themselves in a feverish fight to defend the honor of the Queen from the conniving Cardinal Richelieu.  "[A] slick, swashbuckling romp that cleverly updates the Dumas novel ... Ken Ludwig's new version of the story simply refreshes it, distilling its energy and strengthening its timeless appeal." — The Guardian.

Director Robert Richmond has used the addition of Sabine as a launching pad for his own unique take on the show.  In his vision for the production, the entire story is being imagined by a small girl, who places herself in the center of the action.

“It’s such a swashbuckling boy-centered comic book of a story,” says Richmond, “and yet Ludwig has added this central female character.  I wanted to find out what was exciting for a girl in this story, and then it struck me that seeing the entire thing through a girl’s eyes might be useful.”

Richmond says that decision led to questioning the conventional approach to the story’s female characters, and a discovery that although the male musketeers have traditionally done “the saving,” it’s the women who actually drive the plot. “We’re trying to examine this question of the equality of the sexes,” says Richmond.

Using a child’s imagination as the lens for the storytelling has also informed the show’s impressive production design.  Working with scenic designer Tamara Joksimovic, a first-year scenic design graduate student, the stage design features a multi-level, 360-degree rotating set, which Richmond envisions as a sort of “time machine” tied to the little girl’s mind. The production’s elaborate costume design, by Theatre SC Artistic Director Lisa Martin-Stuart, mixes lavish 17th-century detail with the fantastical invention of a youngster’s imagination. 

“There’s a definite comic book element to the style of this script,” explains Richmond.  “The characters are purposely somewhat two-dimensional, and we wanted to create a larger-than-life world where those characters and their heightened reality can exist comfortably.”

You can’t have a swashbuckler without breathtaking feats of derring-do, and for that important element, professional fight director Casey Kaleba was brought on board to instruct the cast in the art of rapier and dagger swordplay.  Kaleba is an in-demand fight choreographer with credits at regional theatres across the US, including Washington DC’s Folger Theatre, at which he has previously worked on shows Richmond has directed (Richard III, Twelfth Night, Henry V).

Guest actor William Vaughan, a 2013 graduate of the theatre program, has returned to take on the role of D’Artagnan.  Now based in DC, Vaughan has worked steadily as a professional actor at regional theatres in the Northeast since graduating.  Graduate acting students Benjamin Roberts, Dimitri Woods and Matthew Cavender will take on the roles of the musketeers, with fellow MFA actor Nicole Dietze in the role of Sabine.  The cast also include MFA students Josh Jeffers, Carin Bendas, Candace Thomas and Rachel Kuhnle, theatre instructor David Britt, and undergraduates Wes Williams, John Floyd, Grace Stewart, Kelsea Woods, Elizabeth Houck, Grace Ann Roberts, Andrea Wurzburger, Jalissa Fulton, Freddie Powers, Michael Ferrucci and Michael Castro.  Lighting design for the production is being created by graduate design student Rachel Sheets.  Guest artist Danielle Wilson is designing the show’s soundtrack. 

For a show so filled with visual spectacle, Richmond admits, in the end it’s all about the core themes of Alexandre Dumas’ original tale.

“At the root of the story are the guiding principles of faith, hope, charity and chivalry,” says Richmond.  “Dumas was telling his 19th-century contemporaries that there had existed an age before them that was filled with great enlightenment and chivalry, where people fought for all sorts of moral and ethical causes.  And we still need that reminder.  Perhaps we should look back to go forward.”

For more information on The Three Musketeers or the theatre program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at bushk@mailbox.sc.edu.