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Shakespeare's War of the Roses Saga to Continue with HENRY V at the Theater at Monmouth

William Shakespeare's HENRY V opens at the Theater at Monmouth Friday, July 22nd at 7:30 p.m.

A young king makes a rash decision to go to war and against overwhelming odds, leads his country to victory, conquering France, and winning its princess. A powerful, provocative production with contemporary resonances, Shakespeare's epic history crowns Henry's complicated three-play journey from reckless prince to legendary king.

HENRY V tells the coming of age story of King HENRY V, focusing on the events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Year's War. The play is the final part of Shakespeare's tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV Part 1, and Henry IV Part 2. In this final chapter, the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad matures into a great king and even better leader.

There was no fourth wall in Shakespeare's time. Actors played to, as well as with, their audience. "Many contemporary actors become wrapped up in 'being real'... and making things 'believable'," said director Mark Mineart. "These are concerns that no actor in Shakespeare's day would ever have entertained. Shakespeare's goal wasn't to get audiences to believe what was happening on stage, the goal was to get audiences to help create what was happening on stage"

The play has had three major film adaptations. The first, directed by and starring Laurence Olivier in 1944, is a colorful and highly stylized version which begins in The Globe Theatre and then gradually shifts to a realistic evocation of the Battle of Agincourt. Olivier's film was made during the Second World War and was intended as a patriotic rallying cry at the time of the invasion of Normandy. The second major film, directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh in 1989, attempts to give a more realistic evocation of the period and lays more emphasis on the horrors of war. It features a mud-spattered and gruesome Battle of Agincourt. Where Olivier staged the comic scenes as comedy, Branagh played them as serious drama. The third major film, starring Tom Hiddleston, was made by the BBC in 2012 as part of The Hollow Crown series.

HENRY V is directed by Mark Mineart with set design by Brittany Vasta, costume design by Kathleen Payton Brown, lighting design by Jason Fok, sound design by Rew Tippin, and fight direction by Leighton Samuels. Cast in order of appearance: Janis Stevens as Chorus/ Hostess/ Alice; Christopher Holt as Fluellen/ Ely; Mark Cartier as Canterbury/ Bardolph/ Bates; Jake Loewenthal as King Henry; Chris White as Exeter; James Hoban as Westmoreland/ Nym/ French King; Erica Murphy as Montjoy; Bill Van Horn as Pistol; Michael Dolan as Boy; Joe Mariani as Bedford; Rob Glauz as Scroop/ Williams/ Gov. Harfleur; Tim Kopacz as Dauphin/ Grey; Blythe Coons as Cambridge/ Gower; Lucas Calzada as Constable/ MacMorris; Kelsey Burke as Gloucester/ Jamy/ Katharine; and Isabella Etro as York/ Court.

Performance Calendar: PREVIEW 7/21 at 7:30 p.m.; OPENING 7/22 at 7:30 p.m. with pre-show classics in context discussion; additional performance dates 7/30, 8/3, 8/6, 8/11, 8/16 at 7:30 p.m.; 8/7, 8/17, 8/20 at 1:00 p.m.; 8/14 at 7:00 p.m. with post-show talk-back. Educators receive 20% off tickets for opening night with a photo ID at the Box Office. Ticket prices range from $20-$32. For patrons under 30, twenty $10 Rush Tickets are available at each performance in the season. Tickets will be released to the first 20 people on the list ten minutes before curtain. Discounts available for groups of 10 or more. For calendar and reservations, please contact the TAM Box Office at 207.933.9999 or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.

Theater at Monmouth, founded in 1970, was named the Shakespearean Theater of Maine by the State Legislature in 1975. The theatre's mission is to present innovative approaches to Shakespeare and other classic plays through professional productions that enrich the lives of people throughout Maine. Since its founding, TAM has produced expertly crafted, engaging productions in its three-month Summer Repertory Season entertaining audiences from 36 states and through Education Tours annually reaching more than 15,000 students statewide.

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