Shakespeare tackles bullying in modernized "Richard III" - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Shakespeare tackles bullying in modernized "Richard III"

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

It's Shakespeare with a twist.

And Laura Coulter is bringing it to life.

Teaming up with local teenagers, Coulter is putting on "Richard III," a tale of greed, violence and the quest for power. Traits that are pretty familiar to today's youth.

"Kids are having to increasingly deal with violence on a daily basis both in and out of school," Coulter said, who is the Executive Director of Bards of Birmingham.

Morgan Walston plays Richard. This 16-year-old leading lady doesn't like blowing smoke. She's ready to tell a real story.

"It shows kids the dangers of gang violence," she said. "It shows kids the dangers of greediness and wanting to get to the top. It is a world that we live in...it's very real and I think it's going to speak to young audiences."

And it hits close to home with the cast.

"I can't say I've seen it," Xavier Little said. "But I have heard about it."

In real life, Little attends Hoover High School. In "Richard III" he plays the reverend, who is devoted to keeping the peace. Something in real life isn't always easy.

"I know [the play] is relevant to some of my friends because it teaches them life lessons," he said.

A life lesson more than 500 years in the making.

"We want that to be a significant component of the play," Coulter said. "That it's not acceptable, ever, to elevate yourself over someone else for any reason because you think you're better."

"Richard III" will be at the East Lake United Methodist Church Jan. 13th, 14th, 20th and 21st. For more information about show times and tickets you can log on to www.bardsofbirmingham.com.