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Margaret is a creative editing of William Shakespeare’s War of the Roses tetralogy (Henry VI, parts 1-3 and Richard III) that focuses on Margaret d’Anjou’s journey from meek princess to fierce warrior, strategist, leader, and finally lone, mad women. This bold reframing of political history spanning three generations gives focus to the women who made great impact, but held little agency. Margaret provides thrilling opportunities for meaty female roles, new female narratives, and a strong feminist perspective using only Shakespeare’s original text.

Margaret was developed in part by a 2017 Drama League Rough Draft Residency.


The idea began as an exploration of the female characters in Richard III, questioning if a Shakespearean text in which 25% of the lines were spoken by female characters could be manipulated into a play more specifically focusing on the journeys of those women. In analyzing Richard III, Margaret emerged as an exciting and epic woman whose story was begging to be told.

As Shakespeare’s “longest-running” female character, Margaret’s arc is dynamic and challenging both in its historical potency and it’s theatrical possibility. As the American Theatre strives to create more opportunities for a diversity of artists to share their stories, Our industry and our nation face exciting changes this year and the depth of Margaret’s story spotlights the necessity for narratives that honor the impact of women who shape our society and the need for a continuing national dialogue.

We want to utilize the female characters in these plays as the movers of the narrative while maintaining Shakespeare’s language and stories. We are committed to not adding or changing the text that exists, but cutting the plays with surgical precision to bring Margaret to the forefront. This methodology is an example of how artists frame Shakespeare’s work for a twenty-first century audience; an approach that is true to the text and simultaneously innovative.

To read an excerpt from Margaret, please contact Natalie.

About the Creators

Madilynn Garcia is an alum of The University of Texas at Austin and recently completed the Shakespearean Dramaturgy Residency at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She was a member of the inaugural Gateway cohort and is honored to currently serve on the Diversity Committee for USITT as a program coordinator for Gateway. Her work as a dramaturg is in partnership with her work as a change-agent promoting diversity and inclusion in the field. She resides in Portland, OR and is always looking forward to the next adventure.

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