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Arts & Culture

Equivocation, When Shakespeare Rewrites History

The Gunpowder Plot of 1605 was a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England and blow up Parliament. The “official” story is that Catholic sympathizers were protesting a Protestant king, but many disagree and argue that it was a plot by Protestants to discredit Catholics.

The play “Equivocation” grapples with this muddled history and playwright Bill Cain writes his own alternative: King James I and his secretary of state Robert Cecil ask Shakespeare to write a play about their version of the gun plot to give it credibility. The show, onstage now at Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park, grapples with the balance between truth and art, and explores parallels between the early 1600s and modern day political life. 

Host Frank Stasio is joined in studio for performance and conversation with director Jerry Sipp and actors Jim O’Brien and Jason Hassell. “Equivocation” is on stage at the  Ira David Wood Pullen Park Theatre through Sunday, June 21. 

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