Photo Flash: Tom Hanks Begins Rehearsals For HENRY IV at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

This week, the cast and crew of Shakespeare's Henry IV, starring Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks, came together for the first meet and greet of the production. Check out shots from the event below!

"Henry IV," staged by Tony Award winning director Daniel Sullivan, features Harry Groener as Northumberland, Tom Hanks in his Los Angeles stage debut as Sir John Falstaff, Hamish Linklater as Hal, Joe Morton as Henry IV, and Tony winner Rondi Reed as Mistress Quickly.

This new "Henry IV" is presented by The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles (SCLA), under the artistic direction of Ben Donenberg, at The Japanese Garden on the West Los Angeles VA Campus. Tickets are available at shakespearecenter.org

The cast also includes Anthony Mark Barrow (Lord Bardolph, Vernon), Raffi Barsoumian (Hotspur, Pistol), Josh Clark (Worcester), Benji Coelho, James Michael Cowan, Jeff Marlow (Archbishop, Sir Walter Blunt), Chris Myers (Lancaster, Peto), Alexander Pimentel, Ray Porter (Douglas, Warwick), Chris Rivera (Poins), Emily Swallow (Lady Percy), Peter Van Norden, Geoffrey Wade (Westmoreland), and Time Winters (Bardolph, Mowbray).

Director Dan Sullivan has distilled the exploits of Falstaff - "the villainous and abominable misleader of youth" - and his ne'er-do-well protégé Prince Hal from "Henry IV Parts One and Two," into an evening of Shakespeare's finest and most touching comedy.

Tom Ware is the Executive Producer. Scenic design Ralph Funicello; costume design Holly Poe Durbin; lighting design Trevor Norton; audio design Drew Daizell; production stage manager David Lober; fight director Steve Rankin; composer Michael Roth; SCLA Platoon Leader Chad Rowlett.

Evening, outdoor performances of "Henry IV" run Tuesdays - Sundays at 8pm, now through July 1 at The Japanese Garden, located on the West Los Angeles VA Campus, 229 Patton Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90049 (near Golf Course; for GPS load address and ZIP CODE). The grounds are open at 6:30pm for pre-show picnics. Alcohol is not permitted on the grounds of the West LA Veteran Healthcare Campus.

The Shakespeare Center is providing thousands of complimentary tickets for veterans and active members of the military who enter their names and service information at www.ShakespeareCenter.org/military

Artistic director Ben Donenberg said, "We're grateful to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs and the leaders of the West LA VA for this opportunity to bring our company to the Japanese Garden at the VA." Donenberg continued, "We're hiring and training 34 veterans to support 14 seasoned union-contracted actors to tell a riveting story about the forging of Shakespeare's most colorful military and political hero. We're proud to bring the vision of one of the American theater's most esteemed Broadway directors and the world-class talent of a cast lead by Tom Hanks, to our long-time supporters and this very special venue."

Ann Brown, Director, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, said, "It's exciting to partner with The Shakespeare Center to provide our Veterans incredible opportunities like the chance to work alongside professional actors, and to view live entertainment right here on the West LA VA campus. Partnerships like this one are vital to bringing the vision for this campus to life and to transform it into a vibrant, welcoming, Veteran-centric community."

Tom Hanks, along with his wife Rita Wilson, are long-time supporters of the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles through hosting and participating in the past 26 consecutive years of Simply Shakespeare, a no-holds-barred impromptu reading of a Shakespeare comedy with celebrity casts and musicians that raises funds and awareness about the Shakespeare Center's ground-breaking arts-based employment programs for veterans and inner-city youth.

The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles has 37 years of award-winning history in Los Angeles. For "Henry IV" an intimate stage with cushioned theatrical seating will be constructed on the meadow at The Japanese Garden on the West Los Angeles VA Campus by a veteran workforce. Dozens of picnic tables are available for pre-show picnic dinners. No alcohol is permitted at the West LA VA, as it is federal property with specific regulations. SCLA has produced critically acclaimed plays in this location between 1991-93 and 2011-2014.

Photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

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