Making only its second Baltimore appearance since it was written, King John is the among Shakespeare’s deepest deep cuts and most underrated gems. The play tells the story of the troublesome reign of King John I of England. John had the bad fortune of inheriting a bankrupt nation from his much more famous brother, Richard the Lionheart; losing wide swathes of land in France during questionable military escapades; and having several of his barons declare war on him. Bad luck for John, but good material for Shakespeare. King John is part political thriller, part war story, and part human tragedy, but throughout it’s Shakespeare at his poetic best—King John is one of only two plays Shakespeare wrote entirely in verse. The Baltimore Shakespeare Factory is proud to bring this play back to Baltimore for the first time since the 1780s when it was staged by the Maryland Company of Comedians. Founded by Thomas Wall in 1781, that company made a claim to being the first permanent acting troupe established after the Revolution. They were active from 1781-85, and included King John among their productions.