Photos: First Stage's Young Company Presents HENRY IV, PART 1

The production is directed by multi-disciplinary artist and First Stage Young Company core faculty member Marcella Kearns.

By: Dec. 08, 2023

First Stage’s Young Company, the Theater Academy’s award-winning training program for advanced high school actors, will present its first production of the 2023/24 season, Shakespeare’s riveting play HENRY IV, PART 1. See photos from the show below. 

The production will be directed by multi-disciplinary artist and First Stage Young Company core faculty member Marcella Kearns, with fight choreography provided by Christopher Elst. With his crown under threat from enemies both foreign and domestic, Henry IV prepares for war. As he prepares to defend his crown, his son Prince Hal bails on his responsibilities at Court to hang out in taverns with a gang of ne’er-do-wells, chief of whom is the notorious Sir John Falstaff. With the onset of war, Hal must confront his responsibilities to family and throne. Power, honor and rebellion reign in Shakespeare’s historical epic of royal succession. Sponsored by United Performing Arts Fund. 

From Marcella Kearns, Director: “The heart of this play, the king’s son Hal, was a teenager when the historical events of this play occurred. I find it extraordinary hearing this cast of actors his age explore national crisis and personal fellowship. In script reads and early rehearsals, they posed deeply human and relevant questions: “How do we react to radical change?” and “Who owns the language of right and order?” They are connecting deeply to the story of a fellow young person finding his moral compass in a land that’s burning.” 

From Matt Daniels, Director of Young Company: “This play is a perfect vehicle to showcase the Young Company’s award-winning Shakespearean prowess. Full of soaring language, epic battles and hilarious hijinks, this play has something for everyone.” 

This is a Young Company Performance Project – an actor-driven presentation using elemental production values. By stripping down to a nearly bare stage, the connection of actor to audience is enhanced, and the words of the play come alive in exciting ways, allowing the award-winning students to showcase their graduate level skills with full-length material, from Shakespeare to American classics to pieces commissioned specially for them.

HENRY IV, PART 1 runs December 8 – 17, 2023 in the newly renovated, theater-in-the-round Goodman Mainstage Hall, Milwaukee Youth Arts Center, located at 325 W. Walnut Street in downtown Milwaukee. Tickets are just $15 and are available online at firststage.org or through the First Stage Box Office at (414) 267-2961. Performance runtime is approximately two hours and 15 minutes with a brief intermission. Suggested for adults and teens. 

Photo Credit: Paul Ruffolo

Photos: First Stage's Young Company Presents HENRY IV, PART 1
Thomas Bastardo, Alice Rivera, Maya Thomure, and the cast of HENRY IV, PART 1

Photos: First Stage's Young Company Presents HENRY IV, PART 1
Paxton Haley and Elena Marking

Photos: First Stage's Young Company Presents HENRY IV, PART 1
Alice Rivera, Paxton Haley, Thomas Bastardo

Photos: First Stage's Young Company Presents HENRY IV, PART 1
Evie Patrick and William Swoboda

Photos: First Stage's Young Company Presents HENRY IV, PART 1
Abram Nelson, Max Larson and Elena Marking




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