Bold new Shakespeare adaptation runs January 12 – February 12

PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Repertory Company continues its commitment to developing and staging new works with By the Queen, written by Obie Award-winner and Brown/Trinity Rep alum Whitney White, based on William Shakespeare’s Henry VI plays and Richard III. Directed by company member Brian McEleney, this world premiere production of By the Queen runs at Trinity Rep in the Dowling Theater from January 12 through February 12, 2023, with press opening night on Wednesday, January 18 at 7:30 pm. Tickets start at $27 and are available online at or by contacting the ticket office at (401) 351-4242.


“This project has been a dream of mine for a long time,” Trinity Rep Artistic Director Curt Columbus said. “Queen Margaret is one of the most fascinating characters Shakespeare ever wrote, and I have been looking for a contemporary take on her story, one that puts her squarely in the center, for a number of years. Whitney White is one of the most exciting artists in the American Theater today, and someone who has been part of the Trinity family, so being able to present her take on Margaret’s story is even more wonderful.  I cannot wait to share this show with our audiences.” 


From her roots as a provincial princess of France, to her ascension to the throne of England and her eventual downfall, Queen Margaret is a complicated, interesting, and thrilling Shakespearean character. She is a warrior, a wife, a politician, and a mother. This dynamic new drama is lifted and remixed from the text of Henry VI and Richard III. And it finally gives Margaret’s story the telling it deserves.

Notably, the role of Margaret will be portrayed by three performers of different ages, each representing a stage of Margaret’s life. The three Margarets exist in a liminal space, and interact with each other as they look back on their life as a whole.   

For the first time since 2013’s The Grapes of Wrath, Trinity Rep will offer on-stage, cabaret-style seating (pictured above, drawn by set designer Michael McGarty). Patrons may purchase on-stage seats for $35. Rush tickets for these seats can also be purchased for $20 two hours before the performance, in-person at the Ticket Office. Rush tickets are subject to limited availability and are not available for sold-out performances or opening night.  

This project is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. 


Whitney White is an Obie Award and Lilly Award-winning director, actor, and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the current recipient of the Susan Stroman Directing award, an Artistic Associate at the Roundabout, and a part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Her original musical Definition was part of the 2019 Sundance Theatre Lab 2016 ANT Fest, and her five-part musical exploration of Shakespeare’s women and ambition; Reach for It is currently under commission with the American Repertory Theater in Boston. She has developed work with the following institutions: The New York Times, Ars Nova, The Drama League, Roundabout, New York Theatre Workshop, 59E59, The Lark, The Movement, Jack, Bard College, NYU Tisch, Juilliard, Princeton, SUNY Purchase, South Oxford, Luna Stage and more. Whitney is a believer in collaborative processes and new forms. Her musical discipline is rooted in indie-soul and rock. She is passionate about Black stories, reconstructing classics, stories for and about women, genre-defying multimedia work, and film. Past fellowships include New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellowship, Ars Nova’s Makers Lab, Colt Coeur and the Drama League. MFA Acting: Brown University/Trinity Rep, BA Political Science, Certificate in Musical Theatre: Northwestern University.   


By the Queen will be directed by Brian McEleney, who has been a resident company member for more than 30 seasons. He has directed over 20 productions including An IliadThe Grapes of Wrath, House and Garden, Absurd Person Singular, The Crucible, Twelfth Night, All the King’s Men, Our Town, and Hamlet. As an actor, his favorite Trinity Rep roles include King Lear, Richard II, Richard III, Malvolio, George (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Dr. Larch (The Cider House Rules), Prior Walter (Angels in America), and his first Trinity Rep appearance as Mozart in Amadeus. He is a graduate of Trinity College and the Yale School of Drama. He is the founding director of the Brown/Trinity MFA Acting program. 

Brian noted that Whitney is a former student of his and said, “It’s a professional honor for me to get to work with her, because she’s one of the hottest theater artists working today. I’m thrilled that she entrusted me with this project.” 

Brian will work alongside assistant director Kai Thomani Tshikosi, set designer Michael McGarty, costume designer Toni Spadafora-Sadler, lighting designer Christina Watanabe, and sound designer Larry D. Fowler, Jr

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Acting candidate Fiona Marie Maguire will play an idealistic yet defiant young Margaret, resident company member Rachel Christopher will portray a slightly older, more cynical Margaret, and guest artist Paula Plum makes her Trinity Rep debut as the eldest Margaret. Joining them are an ensemble of five who will each play the various men who have impacted Margaret’s life. These actors include resident company members Taavon Gamble and Mauro Hantman, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Acting candidate JaQuan Malik Jones, and guest performers Jeff Church and Matthew Russell


Trinity Rep is dedicated to keeping our artists, staff, and audiences safe, and will monitor the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic throughout the season. Details about Trinity Rep’s current health and safety protocols can be found at  


Continuing Trinity Rep’s tradition of offering affordable tickets for all, the theater will hold a Pay What You Will performance of By the Queen on Thursday, January 12. Pay What You Will tickets go on sale at 2:00 pm the day of the performance, and are limited to one per person. Other special performances for this production include Open Captioned performances on February 8, 11, and 12 at 2:00 pm and February 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 7:30 pm. The Sensory-Friendly performance of By the Queen designed to meet the needs of guests with sensitivities to light and sound, will be held on February 1, 2023.  

Through Trinity Rep’s Project Discovery program, schools can arrange for students to experience this live production reimagining the story of a forgotten female character from Shakespeare’s work with tickets to a student matinee performance, a study guide that can be used in the classroom, and a post-show discussion with the production team. The Project Discovery performance dates for By the Queen are January 20 and 27 at 10:00 am and February 2 and 10 at 10:00 am. Visit for more information and to book your school. 

Educational activities surrounding By the Queen are supported by Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.  

Trinity Rep’s 2022-23 Season is sponsored in part by the Rhode Island State Council on The Arts (RISCA)110 Grill is Trinity Rep’s Opening Night Sponsor, and Southwest Airlines is the Official Airline of Trinity Rep. 


Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years. 

Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for more than four decades and made memories for nearly two million audience members.  

Trinity Rep’s 2022-23 Season began in September 2022 and runs through June 2023. Upcoming productions include By the Queen, The Inferior Sex, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  For more information, visit Trinity Rep’s website at 


By the Queen 

By Whitney White 

Drawn from Henry VI and Richard III by William Shakespeare 

January 12 – February 12, 2023 

Director – Brian McEleney 

Assistant Director – Kai Thomani Tshikosi 

Set Designer - Michael McGarty 

Costume Designer - Toni Spadafora-Sadler 

Lighting Designer – Christina Watanabe 

Sound Designer  Larry D. Fowler, Jr. 

Fight and Intimacy Choreographer: Angie Jepson 

Stage Manager – Buzz Cohen 

Assistant Stage Manager – Amanda Kosack 

Cast – Featuring company members: Rachel Christopher as Margaret 2, Taavon Gamble as Suffolk/Edward/Grey/Ensemble, and Mauro Hantman as York/Buckingham/Ensemble. Including MFA students JaQuan Malik Jones as Gloucester/Cardinal/Prince Edward/Hastings/Queen Elizabeth/Ensemble and Fiona Marie Maguire as Margaret 1. Featuring guest artists Jeff Church as Warwick/Richard III/Ensemble, Paula Plum as Margaret 3, and Matthew Russell as Henry VI/Rivers/Dorset/Ensemble. 

By the Queen Opening Press Night | Wednesday, January 18, 2023 at 7:30 pm 

Invitations and RSVP instructions coming soon  

Pay What You Will – January 12 at 7:30 pm  

Open Captioned Performances – February 8, 11, and 12 at 2:00 pm; February 8, 9, 10, and 11 at 7:30 pm 

Sensory-Friendly Performance – February 1 at 7:30 pm 

Project Discovery Performances – January 20 and 27; February 2 and 10 at 10:00 am. 

Website – 

Ticket Office – (401) 351-4242; 201 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903   

Group Sales – (401) 453-9238; discounts for groups of 20 or more 

Ticket Prices – Starting at $27 for off-stage seating. Rush tickets are also available for on-stage seating, starting at $20, two hours in advance, same-day. 

Season Sponsor – Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA)   

Official Airline of Trinity Rep – Southwest Airlines  

Opening Night Sponsor – 110 Grill  

This project is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.