Tag: Charles David Richards

Friended By Shakespeare Onstage April 30th, 2018

Friended by Shakespeare

by Charles David Richards

This one act, one man play is about a little known member of William Shakespeare’s  acting companies between the years of 1592 and 1612. A Player need Jon SIncler, sometimes referred to by Shakespeare as Sinklo, was it seems a friend of the playwright, with roles in many of his plays but never a Sharer in the Company Not much is known about him but the play gives the character Jon Sincler, the chance to explain himself as he shares what he is about to do to pay tribute to his friend, William Shakespeare.

Shakespeare wrote 37 plays and 154 Sonnets, many of which are quoted in Jon Sincler; Hired Man.

Told in part in Original Pronunciation the audience has a chance to hear the words and phrases much like they sounded 400 years ago as Sincler takes them through the words and ways of Shakespeare and the English theatre of the sixteenth Century.

The play, written by Richards has been researched and performed onstage and in podcast form but now Friended by Shakespeare will move about the country playing galleries and spaces like the wonderful Gallery on Third in Carnegie, from Washington D.C. to New York, Los Angeles and London. “I like the idea of art galleries and spaces since many times Shakespeare’s companies performed in doors when they were invited by gentry or the Queen herself. Yes, the Globe became their home but it was in these smaller settings that Shakespeare was able to influence those who ultimately became his most staunch backers. And the intimacy of a smaller gallery over a larger theatre space is exactly suited for this very personal telling of this tale,” says Richards who is a member of Actors Equity and performs this play under an AEA contract. Our next show is at Threadbare Cider House, 1291 Spring Garden Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The one hour play is suitable for all audiences and certainly lovers of William Shakespeare.

A New Play-Debut!

It’s been busy lately and if there is one thing that keeps this actor off social media and my own website, it’s rehearsals! We’re doing a great play by John B. Keene called Sive. That’s not a typo. Sive is a great Irish play here at Pittsburgh Irish Classic Theatre and we open May 4 running till the 20th.

Being sold to an old decrepit man(me)for 200 pounds is not every girl’s idea of a fairytale marriage, but for Sive, it’s the only way her family can find some relief from their poverty stricken existence. Sive tells the story of two star crossed lovers set against the backdrop of the 50’s in County Kerry showing the simplicity and difficulty of everyday life.

It’s directed by the great Alan Stanford with a great cast of actors. We’ll stage it at our theatre: Union Project, 801 North Negley Avenue in Highland Park.

I surely hope you can come. Tickets are now on sale at:http://picttheatre.org


“Friended” by Shakespeare

It all started a few decades ago as I was working in a production of Hamlet directed by James Cromwell in Los Angeles. That’s when, thanks to Jamey I realized my love for and interest in William Shakespeare. One thing led to another as happens when you follow your heart in these matters and I discovered a little known actor named Jon Sincler in Will’s company who never played any big roles but for some reason was always given special attention by Shakespeare.

A number of men in the company put them together in folio form and published them in 1623.
A number of men in the company put them together in folio form and published them in 1623.

So I created a one man play based on their relationship and what that might have been like. Over the years, I’ve added to the play as my research became deeper and more involved and now it has become a full one act, one man show. We did it last year as a reading to see how it would be received, a preview of sorts I guess and the audience really liked it. So after a trip to London to Shakespeare’s Globe and home in Stratford on Avon and much research from wise people like Andrew Gurr and Ben and David Crystal I was able to put together this story of what might have happened. To add to its authenticity the production is spoken in Original Pronunciation which is what the English language probably sounded like in Shakespeare’s London.

The Globe London

This time it’s a more fully staged one act and from after this we’ll do it as a touring production but first things first. We are at the 3rd Street Gallery in Carnegie, Monday April 18th at 7:30. I still think it’s more of an art piece than a play at this point so that’s why I chose to stage it at this beautiful gallery owned by Phillip Salvato and urged by Robert Podurgiel.


It’s so rewarding to see this man, Jon Sincler come to life and also to hear the wonderful words of William Shakespeare. I hope you can join us.

Out Of This Furnace


We are well into rehearsals now for Out of This Furnace. It’s a wonderful play based on the book by Thomas Bell and adapted by Thomas Wolk. We tell the story of immigrants who helped build this country and ultimately the unions that protected them. It was a different era from the 1890’s to the 1930’s America.

It’s always a magical time from first read through to getting the play up in bare bones form to the sets that magically appear and the costumes that make the characters. It’s a really good cast, not surprisingly of professional actors with the Unseam’d Shakespeare Company. As the actors get their lines, the blocking sets our feet and everyday, something else is discovered about a character, a line reading a characters history.

Ultimately as actors we are discovering ourselves, as the characters we portray have apparently always lurked within us and our director Lisa Ann Goldsmith has tapped each and every one of us to bring that character to life.  It’s live theatre on an Actors Equity stage-and yes, it IS magic!

Who is Jon Sincler?


Jon Sincler is the subject of my one man one act play that I’l be reading from Friday night at the Gallery on Third in Carnegie.

He is an actor who was apparently a friend of William Shakespeare. Jon Sincler  appeared in several of Will’s plays and we know this because several scripts show his entrance by name in the Stage Directions. I first came across his name in a book by Marchette Chute called “Shakespeare of London”. It occurred to me as an interesting point of view to have an actor who it seemed never played any big parts, as a friend of the greatest playwright of all time to give tribute to his friend at his funeral. In the play, Sincere, Sinklo, Sinclair (he’s been referred to by all these names-just for spell-checkers sake), not knowing what will ever become of Will’s plays, is hoping that the audience will see how important these works are and implores us to find a way to save them. This takes place in 1616 and it wasn’t until 1623 that the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays were actually put on the market. So yes, it’s a work of fiction based on a little bit of fact but delivered by an actor who like so many actors over time has come to understand the importance of what William Shakespeare created.

Along the way we get an idea of what life was like for these Players in the numerous companies that Shakespeare led around London. This reading is only a portion of this play and is being read as tribute to Shakespeare close to his birthday which occurred, we’re told on April 23. (The reading is on the 24th).

For me it’s been an actors busy work. In down times over the years, I’ve pulled it out and performed at various venues. I thought it was time to bring it out again as a full One Act and this is the beginning of that process. Oddly enough, most of my research, dare I say was done before the internet existed! Yeah, they call ’em books! Now of course most of this history in a few mouse clicks away but still Mr.Sincler remains a mystery. If you attend or listen to the podcast reading here on the site, I hope you will enjoy and at least find an appreciation not so much for what I have written but for the words of William Shakespeare. Happy Birthday Will.