Guthrie Theater To Present Shakespeare's RICHARD II, HENRY IV And HENRY V In Repertory

Performed in rotating repertory at the Guthrie more than 30 years ago, the History Plays return for a spectacular, once-in-a-generation theatrical event.

By: Feb. 26, 2024
Guthrie Theater To Present Shakespeare's RICHARD II, HENRY IV And HENRY V In Repertory
Get Access To Every Broadway Story

Unlock access to every one of the hundreds of articles published daily on BroadwayWorld by logging in with one click.




Existing user? Just click login.

The Guthrie Theater has announced the cast and creative team for its production of the History Plays (Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V) by William Shakespeare, directed by Joseph Haj and performed in rotating repertory by one company of actors.

The History Plays reveal the power and cost of wearing the crown over the course of 22 epic years; audiences watch as a king becomes a man, a man becomes a king and a king becomes a hero. Previews begin on Saturday, March 23 on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. The History Plays will open on Saturday, April 13 and play through Saturday, May 25. Tickets are now on sale through the Box Office or online at www.guthrietheater.org/historyplays. Special events and accessibility services (ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances) are available on select dates.

Artistic Director Joseph Haj commented, “Being a member of the History Plays acting company during the 1990–1991 Season was incredibly impactful to me as an artist. I knew then we were part of something special; it was a hugely significant moment in the theater's story. Since my return to the Guthrie several years ago, I have contemplated producing these works in repertory, as the plays are just as relevant now as they were centuries ago. Pride, ambition, leadership, a country divided and the terrible cost of war are all themes we are currently exploring as a society.” Haj added, “The opportunity to create these works at full-scale, and especially to witness the complete narrative arc in a single day, is a once-in-a-generation endeavor for our staff, artists and audiences. I know this event will live richly in the Guthrie's history for years to come.”

Shakespeare's History Plays encompass the life and times of three key players in the tumultuous English monarchy from 1398 to 1420: King Richard II, King Henry IV and King Henry V. This dramatic feat marks a return to a historic moment for the Guthrie, as it was performed in rotating repertory on the Guthrie stage more than 30 years ago when Haj was in The Acting Company. Performed by a single company of actors, this three-play event will immerse audiences in Shakespeare's examination of power, those who seek it and those who are destroyed by the brittle glory they crave.

The cast of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V includes Stephanie Anne Bertumen (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol); Jasmine Bracey (Guthrie: debut); Dustin Bronson (Guthrie: Hamlet, To Kill a Mockingbird, Juno and the Paycock); John Catron (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet); Charity Jones (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Dickens' Holiday Classic, Cyrano de Bergerac); Jimmy Kieffer (Guthrie: South Pacific); Kurt Kwan (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, The Great Leap, Othello); Erin Mackey (Guthrie: Sunday in the Park With George, South Pacific); Tracey Maloney (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, The Heidi Chronicles, Othello); Melissa Maxwell (Guthrie: Steel Magnolias); Bill McCallum (Guthrie: Shane, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet); Tyler Michaels King (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Murder on the Orient Express, The Tempest); Daniel José Molina (Guthrie: debut); Em Rosenberg (Guthrie: debut); Sophina Saggau (Guthrie: debut); Eric Sharp (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Vietgone, As You Like It); Lanise Antoine Shelley (Guthrie: debut); William Sturdivant (Guthrie: Hamlet, The Tempest, Julius Caesar); U. Jonathan Toppo (Guthrie: Pericles); David Whalen (Guthrie: Hamlet, King Lear); and Stephen Yoakam (Guthrie: The Tempest, King Lear, The Crucible). For detailed casting and the actors' roles in each play, visit the Guthrie website.

The creative team includes Joseph Haj (Director), Jan Chambers (Scenic Designer), Trevor Bowen (Costume Designer), Heather Gilbert (Lighting Designer), Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound Designer), Jack Herrick (Composer), Carla Steen (Resident Dramaturg), Sara Becker (Vocal Coach), U. Jonathan Toppo (Fight Director), Annie Enneking (Intimacy), Jennifer Liestman (Resident Casting Director), Karl Alphonso (Stage Manager), Tree O'Halloran (Stage Manager), Jason Clusman (Assistant Stage Manager), Olivia Louise Tree Plath (Assistant Stage Manager), Lavina Jadhwani (Associate Director), Kate Pitt (Assistant Director), Kajsa Jones-Higgins (SDCF Directing Fellow/Assistant Director) and McCorkle Casting, Ltd. (NYC Casting Consultant).

Joseph Haj (Director) is the Artistic Director of the Guthrie Theater where he has directed Hamlet, A Christmas Carol, Dickens' Holiday Classic, The Glass Menagerie, Cyrano de Bergerac (his own adaptation), West Side Story, Romeo and Juliet, Sunday in the Park With George, King Lear, South Pacific and Pericles. Prior to joining the Guthrie in 2015, Haj served as Producing Artistic Director at PlayMakers Repertory Company, and he has directed and performed across the U.S. and internationally. He was named one of 25 theater artists who will have a significant impact on the field over the next quarter-century by American Theatre magazine, and he is the recipient of the 2014 Zelda Fichandler Award (SDCF) for leadership in the American theater and the 2017 Rosetta LeNoire Award (AEA) for commitment to diversity onstage. He currently serves as Second Vice President of the Executive Board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. Haj holds a B.F.A. in Performance from Florida International University and an M.F.A. in Acting from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Guthrie's production of the History Plays is made possible thanks to generous principal support from The Roy Cockrum Foundation, with additional sponsorship by Ameriprise Financial.

Immersive Events

Shakespeare and Game of Thrones (Free)

Thursday, March 7, 6–7:30 p.m.
Virtual (Zoom)
Harvard educator and scholar Jeff Wilson will offer an informal lecture that draws comparisons between watching Shakespeare and contemporary epics like the hit franchise Game of Thrones.



How To Hear Shakespeare (Free)


Sunday, March 10, 4–5:30 p.m.
Dowling Studio
Performance artist and theater educator Olivia Osol will offer an interactive workshop on listening to and watching Shakespeare in our modern context. Osol will be joined by Guthrie Resident Dramaturg Carla Steen and History Plays Associate Director Lavina Jadhwani.


Shakespeare's English Kings (Free)

Tuesday, March 12, 6–9 p.m.
Dowling Studio
Rodney Cottier, Artistic Associate for the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art will offer an accessible super-lecture on the History Plays and the English kings. This event is designed for newcomers and scholars alike.

 

Marathon Days

 

Saturday, April 13 (Opening Day) and Saturday, May 18
Wurtele Thrust Stage
There are two exciting opportunities for patrons to view all three History Plays from start to finish. Performances are scheduled at 10 a.m. (Richard II), 3 p.m. (Henry IV) and 8:30 p.m. (Henry V). Marathon day tickets start at $66 (handling fees and exclusions apply). Onsite food options and hotel partner discounts will be available. Performance run times will be announced at a later date.

 

A Shakespeare Symposium

 

Friday, April 19 – Sunday, April 21
Guthrie Theater
Presented in partnership with the Department of English at the University of Minnesota, this immersive weekend for all theater enthusiasts will explore how the leadership and power dynamics portrayed onstage play out in our world today. The symposium includes a virtual keynote by bestselling author and University of Oxford professor Emma Smith (This Is Shakespeare), breakout sessions, a behind-the-scenes workshop with Guthrie staff and artists, and more. Symposium tickets, priced at $50, may be combined with a three-play package to complete the experience. Learn more and register beginning March 1 at www.guthrietheater.org/historyplays.
 

Post-Play Discussions 

Patrons are invited to stay in the theater following select performances for a 20-minute conversation about the production facilitated by Guthrie staff. Cast members may join the discussion as they are able. Post-play discussions are supported by Fredrickson & Byron.

Richard II

Henry IV

Henry V

Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 28 at 1 p.m.

Sunday, April 21 at 1 p.m.

Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m.

Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m.

Accessible Performances

ASL-Interpreted Performances
American Sign Language interpreters sign the performance as it plays out onstage.

Richard II

Henry IV

Henry V

Friday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Audio-Described Performances 

Audio describers provide live verbal descriptions of the action, costumes and scenery for people who are blind or have low vision.

Richard II

Henry IV

Henry V

Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 4 at 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.

 

Open-Captioned Performances 

LED screens display text simultaneously with the performance onstage.

Richard II

Henry IV

Henry V

Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 1 at 1 p.m.

Sunday, May 12 at 1 p.m.

Saturday, May 11 at 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15 at 1 p.m.

 

Performances of Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V on Saturday, May 18 (Marathon Day) will be open captioned.

The Guthrie also offers ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances upon request. Please email accessibility@guthrietheater.org at least two weeks in advance to receive these services.

Ticket Information 

Single tickets start at $29 for previews; all other performances range from $34 to $82. Single tickets, group tickets (minimum of 15 per group) and three-play packages may be purchased through the Box Office at 612.377.2224 (single), 1.877.447.8243 (toll-free), 612.225.6244 (group) or online at www.guthrietheater.org/historyplays




Videos