Shakespeare Theatre Company to Stage HENRY IV Parts 1 & 2 with Stacy Keach, 3/25-6/8
The Shakespeare Theatre Company, recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, presents Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 as part of the Clarice Smith Repertory. STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn will direct both parts of this sweeping epic - one of Shakespeare's culminating achievements in the history play genre - over multiple nights. As Kahn says, describing Parts 1 and 2 as his favorite Shakespearean drama: "It brings to the stage every issue we as human beings experience." The two productions will run in the Company's Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW) from March 25 - June 8, 2014.
Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 show us great kings and mighty warriors, but they also vividly portray the common man and woman. Functioning as a family drama of unusual intimacy and a grand portrait of regional and political differences throughout England, the plays evoke a fully realized world. In Part 1, Shakespeare tracks the education of the young Prince Hal across three wildly different realms: the Eastcheap tavern of Sir John Falstaff, the royal court of his father King Henry IV and the battlefield of Shrewsbury on which he faces his foe and rival, the chivalrous Hotspur. These three worlds, and their representative leaders, coexist and collide in the play, to a thrilling and virtuosic effect. Part 2, less commonly performed than its more famous predecessor, reworks the same three-world structure with deepening symbolism to depict the death of an old order and the birth of a new one.
This installment of the Clarice Smith Repertory also marks the return of preeminent classical stage actor and STC Affiliated Artist Stacy Keach. Keach plays Falstaff, one of Shakespeare's most enduring and complex human creations. Keach has an illustrious list of film and TV credits, including most recently The Bourne Legacy, 30 Rock and Nebraska. He returns to Washington for the first time since his acclaimed, Helen Hayes Award winning performance of King Lear for STC in 2009.
"There are many colors to Falstaff in every scene, and I can't think of anyone better to play Falstaff than Stacy Keach" Kahn said. "Shakespeare Theatre Company owes a big debt to Stacy, as he was the first star to appear on our stage in Richard III."
Playing the stern, reserved and resolute King Henry IV to Keach's Falstaff is his longtime friend and fellow STC Affiliated Artist Edward Gero. Matthew Amendt, STC newcomer and alum of the Guthrie Theatre School will play Prince Hal, who struggles to choose between his two father figures. STC favorite Kate Skinner, last seen in 2010's production of Ben Jonson's The Alchemist, also returns for her 10th Shakespeare Theatre Company show as Mistress Quickly.
To purchase tickets or to learn more, patrons can call the Box Office at 202.547.1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org.
Pictured: Stacy Keach (above) and Edward Gero (right). Photos by Scott Suchman.