Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to Continue Season with HENRY VI

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues its season and multi-year history cycle with "Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 1" by William Shakespeare. This production is directed by CSC Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips. This production features Cincinnati Shakespeare's Resident Ensemble members including Darnell Pierre Benjamin at King Henry VI. The History Cycle sponsor is Osborn, Rohs, Williams & Donohoe, LLC. The costume design sponsors are Vantiv and Dave Herche & Wendy Thursby.

Shakespeare's game of thrones continues with this first installment of the Henry VI trilogy. King Henry V, one of England's most beloved monarchs, brought unity and peace to his fractious country and victory over the rival nation of France. But when Henry's untimely death leaves his infant son to inherit the crown, the country falls back into chaos as rival families of York and Lancaster seek to seize the throne for themselves. Featuring some of history's most controversial characters, including Joan of Arc, this first installment in the epic War of the Roses trilogy sets the stage for the exciting conclusion soon to come.

Darnell Pierre Benjamin, a sixth season resident ensemble member of CSC, will be playing King Henry VI in this production. "I hold a great deal of responsibility in my hands," says Darnell, "I am a Black male from St. Martinville, LA; and, despite how much I've always fixated my interests on the classics, I never thought that I'd have the honor of representing one of Shakespeare's history kings." Darnell has appeared on CSC's stage many times to to critical acclaim including as Tom Robinson in "To Kill a Mockingbird", Aaron in "Titus Andronicus", and Valentine in "The Two Gentleman of Verona." Darnell says he "hope(s) to open people's minds and hearts to seeing the core of this story as it is: A young man coming into his own as he learns that there are forces, both good and bad, that can alter his perception of himself; but, if he holds fast onto who he is and who he is becoming, regardless of what the outcome will be, he will maintain leadership of his truest self."

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is only the 2nd theater company in the United States to present Shakespeare's 8 play history cycle in chronological order. The 2013 production of "Richard II" began this multi-season history cycle at Cincinnati Shakespeare and was followed by 2014's "Henry IV: Part 1 & 2" and 2015's "Henry V" and now with 2016's "Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 1". The cycle will conclude with "Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 2" and "Richard III".

Performances of "Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 1" are scheduled from January 22- February 13, 2016 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm as well as on Saturday Feb. 13 at 2pm. There is no performance on Sunday Jan. 24. Preview performances are on Wednesday Jan. 20 and Thursday Jan. 21 at 7:30pm and tickets are $25.

The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center. Single ticket prices range from $22-$35 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$39 on Fridays and Saturdays. Previews are $25. If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID. This production is a part of this season's subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees may apply. Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as AAA members. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.



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