Freehold to Tour THE FLOWERS OF ENGLAND'S FACE this Summer
Freehold will tour The Flower of England's Face: William Shakespeare's Henry IV directed by Freehold Artistic Director Robin Lynn Smith, to unique locations across the greater Puget Sound area, June 30 - July 20, 2014. Tony Pasqualini will be playing Henry, Reginald André Jackson will be Prince Henry, Andrew McGinn will be Falstaff and Christine Marie Brown as Hotspur. Realizing the power of theatre to bring about an extraordinary communion between audience and performer is at the core of Freehold's mission and at the heart of our annual Engaged Theatre tour. Since 2003, Freehold has toured to extraordinary communities and non-traditional sites. This year the tour sites include: Washington Corrections Center for Women, Monroe Correctional Complex, Harborview Medical Center, Echo Glen Children's Center and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Public performances will be held at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island on June 30 and the University of Washington's Penthouse Theatre from July 12 -20. Tickets for our Pay What You Can public performances are now available through Brown Paper Tickets.
The Flower of England's Face: William Shakespeare's Henry IV looks at the human ability and necessity to reinvent ourselves; and the human resilience and courage it takes to break out of conventional expectations.
When asked what called her to tell this story of Henry IV, director Robin Lynn Smith, responded:
"I am continually surprised somehow that at every stage of our lives we are challenged to crash / burn and start over in a new, uncertain phase. I keep thinking I should be finished! Aging, loss, grief are great and formidable teachers. In Henry IV, both the public and private worlds are going through ground shaking transition. The Kingdom, coming off of revolt and civil war, is in a very precarious state; just as the characters are facing individual instability, and having to reinvent themselves."
Robin noted that the themes in this story will likely resonate with our community partners:
"I am immensely inspired by the diverse communities we work with and their courage and will and tenacity in reinventing themselves and their lives. I am humbled by the fortitude it takes to enter an old reality and make it new, and by the guts it takes to enter a new reality and make it your own. We are using Henry IV, a complex, multi-generational story of reinvention and coming of age to ask: How do we find the audacity it requires to take a new look at what we assumed we already knew?"
Reginald André Jackson, adapter of Henry IV, described his inspiration for adapting parts of Richard II, Henry IV (Parts I and II) for this production:
"When Robin approached me about doing a cutting of Henry IV it quickly changed from a cutting to an adaptation. Rather than only staging Shakespeare's part 1, we opted to explore the full arc of many of these characters. Which meant, also, delving into part 2. But what truly got my blood flowing was the idea of exploring Richard the Second, as well. Henry begins mid-action and assumes that the audience is familiar with Richard II. Several characters switch alliances when we've hardly had time to establish who's who. So, I started by dropping breadcrumbs in order to make the story more accessible. A byproduct of this is the appearance of Richard as a ghost."
Reginald André Jackson and Robin Lynn Smith began workshopping this production in the summer of 2013. In that process they investigated part of the text and presented open rehearsals to Freehold's partner organizations: Washington Corrections Center for Women and Echo Glen Children's Center. Freehold also presented two open rehearsals for the public at UW. Following each open sharing, Robin held a facilitated discussion with the audience which provided feedback that informed artistic choices made in this summer's production. In the interim, Reginald and Robin worked to continually refine the script.
Henry IV is cast across race and gender lines with some of Seattle's most seasoned actors. Lead cast members include: Tony Pasqualini ("Modern Family," "Mad Men", South Coast Repertory Theatre's Much Ado About Nothing, founding partner of Freehold) playing the role of King Henry IV. Reginald André Jackson (Intiman Theatre's All My Sons, Seattle Shakespeare Company's Richard II) will be playing Prince Henry. Andrew McGinn (Seattle Repertory Theatre's The Hound of the Baskervilles) will be Falstaff and Christine Marie Brown (Tony Award winning production of Henry IV, Lincoln Center) will be playing Hotspur.
The performances will be staged with live music and a score composed by Gino Yevdjevich of Kultur Shock. Gino is the lead vocalist and songwriter for Kultur Shock, an international touring band that resists nationalism, religious hate, and wars. They have played throughout the US and are staples of the European and Russian club and festival circuit. Our production will feature life sized puppets created by puppet master Annett Mateo (Monkey Wrench Puppet Lab, Seattle Children's Theatre). Our dynamic set built for touring multiple locations is designed by Catherine Cornell (Book-It Repertory Theatre's Truth Like the Son).
Freehold will be hosting an enhanced performance on Sunday, July 13 at 4:00 pm which will bring together audiences from seemingly disparate, disconnected communities to participate in an enhanced performance where guests will first see the play, break bread together, and then engage in debates with characters from the play, improvisation, story telling, free writing and group poetry together around themes from the play. Robin Lynn Smith devised the enhanced performance as an opportunity to get to know people from distinct, dissimilar communities. It will also be a chance for audience members to hear and learn from each other in ways we seldom get an opportunity to. Freehold has found that mutual participation in active creative engagement is a great leveler: that regardless of our individual social, economic, cultural circumstances, when we create and risk together it breaks down perceived otherness. Freehold has invited groups from Path with Art (www.pathwithart.org), Expedia, UW, Boeing and Getty Images to participate in this enhanced performance.
Freehold will also tour Henry IV by William Shakespeare to our community partners:
Wednesday, July 2 at Washington Corrections Center for Women, Gig Harbor
Thursday, July 3 at Echo Glen Children's Center, Issaquah
Monday, July 7 at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Teen Zone
Tuesday, July 8 at Monroe Correctional Complex
Wednesday, July 9 at Harborview Medical Center
(The press/general public is not able to attend tour date performances at our partner organization sites.)
The Flower of England's Face: Henry IV Fact Sheet:
Freehold's Engaged Theatre tour 2014
The Flower of England's Face: Henry IV by William Shakespeare
Adapted by: Reginald André Jackson
Directed by: Robin Lynn Smith
Cast: (in alphabetical order)
Geoffrey Alm, Sarah Brooke, Christine Marie Brown, Ariel Burke, Grace Carmack, Joe Cummings, Erin Gray, Chesa Green, Ronnie Hill, Reginald André Jackson, Aishé Keita, Jim Lapan, Andrew McGinn, Peter Dylan O'Connor, Tony Pasqualini, Rhonda J. Soikowski, Kate Sumpter
Composer: Gino Yevdjevich
Musicians: Beth Fleenor, Whitney Lyman, Gino Yevdjevich
Set Design: Catherine Cornell
Costume Design: Anastasia Armes
Lighting Design: Wes Chew
Puppet Design and Master: Annett Mateo
Movement Director: Jessica Jobaris
Fight Choreographer: Peter Dylan O'Connor
June 30 at 6:30 pm at Luther Burbank Park (preview - not open for review)
Performances at University of Washington's Penthouse Theatre, NE 45th St & 17th Ave NE, UW entrance (Opening Night, July 12th at 8:00 pm)
July 12 and 14 at 8:00 pm, July 13 and July 20 at 4:00 pm (no show July 15th),
July 16 - 19 at 8:00 pm,
Post-play Discussions with Robin Lynn Smith and cast members will be held after the performance on Wednesday, July 16. A facilitated discussion will be led by Robin about the cast's experience on the tour and playing at non-traditional venues.
TICKETS: Tickets are Pay What You Can, Reservations Requested via Brown Paper Tickets Link: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/725720