Photo Flash: The Public's Mobile Unit Opens HENRY V
Directed by Robert O'Hara, the free sit-down run of HENRY V follows a three-week tour to five boroughs bringing Shakespeare to audiences who have limited or no access to the arts. Part of The Public's Astor Anniversary Season at their landmark downtown home on Lafayette Street, celebrating 50 years of new work at 425 Lafayette Street and the 50th Anniversary of HAIR, HENRY V at The Public Theater will run through Sunday, May 13.
The complete cast of HENRY V includes Michael Bradley Cohen (Canterbury/Dauphin/Chorus), Leland Fowler (Scroop/William-Bates/Chorus), Patrice Johnson (Montjoy/Messengers/Chorus), Carolyn Kettig (Katharine/Cambridge/Chorus), Ariel Shafir (Westmoreland/Constable/Chorus), David Ryan Smith (Exeter/Governor/Chorus), Joe Tapper (French King/French Queen/Chorus), Zenzi Williams (Henry/Chorus), and Kim Wong (Alice/Grey/Chorus).
Insulted by the regent of France, Britain's King Henry V (Zenzi Williams) decides to wage war and claim the throne across the Channel. Resonating over the centuries, wherever there may be a kingdom for a stage and royalty to act, Shakespeare's drama about invasion, ego, and leadership delves into history's thorniest questions: What makes a person worthy of wearing the crown, and what do they owe the people they lead? But this time, our King is played with startling freshness by an African-American actress, unearthing new meaning to our little touch of Henry, as our King makes his way through this bloody campaign.
Furthering the mission of making great theater accessible to all, tickets to the MOBILE UNIT's run at The Public are FREE and are available via TodayTix mobile lottery and in-person distribution in-person HENRY V features scenic and costume design by Clint Ramos and original music by Elisheba Ittoop. In 2017, THE MOBILE UNIT downtown at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place.
TodayTix app to enter or visit publictheater.org for more information.
On each public performance date, free tickets will be distributed beginning 90 minutes prior to curtain, and via mobile lottery on the TodayTix app. Download the celebrated the 60th anniversary of its inaugural mobile tour in 1957 which began with a production of Romeo and Juliet, directed by Joseph Papp with Bryarly Lee and Stephen Joyce in the titular roles. The 1957 Mobile Unit tourreceivedearlysupportfrom New York City authorities.Stanley Lowell,
then deputy mayor, was an early champion for free theater and mobilized city resources and departments to support Papp's production. The first Mobile Unit rolled up to performance venues across the city in borrowed Department of Sanitation vehicles with a wooden folding stage mounted to a truck bed and portable seating risers to accommodate 700 people per venue. The city's Parks Department permitted performances in local parks across all five boroughs. Subsequent productions included
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry V, The Taming of the Shrew, Ti-Jean and His Brothers, Take One Step, Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage, and Volpone, among many others.
Recent MOBILE UNIT productions include The Winter's Tale; Twelfth Night; Hamlet; Romeo & Juliet; The Comedy of Errors; Measure for Measure; Richard III; Much Ado About Nothing; Pericles, Prince of Tyre; and Macbeth. This program reinforces The Public's commitment to the ongoing exploration of Shakespeare's canon, along with the new Public Shakespeare Initiative; the recent Public Works production of As You Like It staged at the Delacorte Theater for free; Free Shakespeare in the Park; and The Public's other affordable productions at its downtown home at Astor Place.
Photo Credit: Simon Luethi