Actors Theatre of Louisville is proud to herald this imaginative interpretation of Shakespeare’s King John. Unfolding in a treacherous world ruled by self-interest, warmongering, and a lack of moral leadership, this fascinating political thriller follows a scheming monarch battling threats from abroad and within. Produced in association with upstart crow collective—a company dedicated to re-contextualizing and invigorating the classical canon with racially diverse casts of women and non-binary people—this production of King John is a feast for the mind and the senses that has been called “a knockout” (Seattle Weekly) that evokes “with surprising clarity the misuses of power that plague us in the present” (The Portland Observer).

Adaptor and Director Rosa Joshi has infused this lesser-known Shakespeare work with contemporary resonance and immediacy, while still speaking to the Bard’s original timeless themes: What are the effects of power when wielded irresponsibly? What physical, mental, and emotional brutalities ensue when the right to rule is questioned? Joshi wields Shakespeare’s words in an attempt to answer these questions for today’s world.King John‘s technical elements are also visually stunning, and the casting affords the audience a fresh look at the work through the prism of gender that points to the past, present, and future. Discounted tickets for students and educators are available for $15 plus fees on Wednesday night, November 15. Additionally, there is closed captioning and ASL Interpretation on Sunday, November 12 at 2 p.m. and Thursday, November 16 at 7 p.m.

Photo credit:  Audrey Cecil and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

  • Photo 1: Deanalís Resto and Branda Joyner
  • Photo 2: Kate Wisniewski and Vilma Silva
  • Photo 3: Rami Margron and Deanalís Resto
  • Photo 4: Cast of King John
  • Photo 5: Brenda Joyner and Jessica Ko
upstart crow collective - an introduction

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This production of King John features the exemplary work of performers Sarah Harlett, Brenda Joyner, Jessica Ko, Rami Margron, J Molière, Mollie Murk, Deanalís Resto, Carmen Roman, Betsy Schwartz, Vilma Silva, Lisa Tejero, and Kate Wisniewski.

The creative team for King Johnincludes Movement Director Alice Gosti, Fight Director Carla Pantoja, Intimacy Director Rocio Mendez, Assistant Director & Voice and Dialect Coach Joy Lanceta Coronel, Dramaturg Wiley Basho Gorn, Scenic Designer Se Hyun Oh, Costume Designer Melissa Torchia, Associate Costume Designer Jason Kramer, Lighting Designer Geoff Korf, Composer & Sound Designer Palmer Hefferan, Associate Sound Designer Caroline Eng, Projection Designer Hana Sooyeon Kim, Associate Projection Designer Ann Slote, Stage Manager Katherine Nelson, Assistant Stage Manager Ashley Hall, and Production Assistant Megan Meyer. Casting by Amelia Acosta Powell, CSA & Emily Tarquin, CSA. For the full list of credits and biographies, please click here.

Please contact Communications Coordinator Ben Gierhart at to discuss complimentary tickets and coverage opportunities. Any groups—including educational groups, senior groups, or other special interest groups—interested should contact for student and educator discounts. We appreciate your support as we reimagine a 21st-century theatre where art, technology, and social transformation meet for a Storytelling (r)Evolution.