in the news.

"Muse Of Fire theatre company presents William Shakespeare's Richard II, directed by Margaret Starbuck, and Henry IV, directed by Will Block, as part of 2017 inaugural summer season.

Margaret Starbuck, director of Richard II says that Muse of Fire's production illustrates a brand new scientific discovery: power negatively affects the brain's ability to empathize. When people feel powerful their ability to see situations from other perspectives, to read a room, and to mirror other people's actions decreases. Richard has been king since he was 9 years old, nobody has ever told him no, nobody has ever humbled him. His lifelong power isolates and insulates him from his subjects and his family, making him a wildly unpopular king, completely out of touch with reality and unable to empathize with those around him. It is only when he loses power through the machinations of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke that he finally regains his ability to empathize, his humility, and his humanity."

Written By Maeve Riley, Broadway World Los Angeles

"..."Having the audience around the actors, I think it makes it both much more intimate so the audience feels more engaged in the action as if they are actually participating and I think it also facilitates immersion into the world,” Starbuck said.

MacDonald said the venue also allows the company to focus more on the actual words of Shakespeare because of its minimal production, which will help emphasize the social relevance of the plays being staged. In “Henry IV,” the son of the king, Hal, runs away to avoid his responsibilities in the beginning of the play – a common feeling of anxiety that Block said the audience will be able to connect with..."

Written By Cameron Vernali, Daily Bruin Newspaper

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