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Cal Shakes & Remote Studios Partner On EL HENRY Digital Reading

"El Henry” is a Chicano adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One.

Cal Shakes & Remote Studios Partner On EL HENRY Digital Reading

California Shakespeare Theater and Remote Studios announced today that they have entered a partnership to produce a digital reading of EL HENRY, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part One by renowned playwright Herbert Siguenza.

In collaboration with the Actors Reading Collective, there will be two live online readings of EL HENRY, on consecutive Saturdays, July 24th and 31st, at 2 PM. A recording of the reading will later be available on-demand in the month of August. To register for the live online readings, go to: https://bit.ly/3oi4OkX

Premiered in 2014 at the La Jolla Playhouse to rave reviews, it has never been seen publicly in the Bay Area, but had a private reading earlier this year with the Actors Reading Collective (ARC). Much of the cast from that reading - including Herbert Siquenza, Wilma Bonet, Catherine Castellanos, Jomar Tagatac, and Dena Martinez - will be in the Cal Shakes/Remote reading. Dena Martinez will also direct, collaborating with Remote's Gio René Rodriguez on designing the reading for the small screen.

The co-production marks a first for both Cal Shakes and Remote, a new company dedicated to co-creating live digital performances with both established and emerging theatre organizations and artists. In its first year, Remote has partnered with The Playwrights Foundation, ARC, and the Marsh, its co-producer in a monthly series of play and film script readings which provide writers and performing artists to showcase work ready for full productions.

"This is an important leap in our evolution, and it's perhaps the most perfect play for Cal Shakes and Remote to explore together in collaboration with ARC and other artists," said Rodriguez. "It's the story of a boy becoming a man with depth and humor that can reach audiences who have never seen Shakespeare. That's the promise of digital, which will become even more important as theater goes hybrid, in-person and online."

"I'm thrilled for this opportunity to share EL HENRY with our audiences," said Cal Shakes Artistic Director Eric Ting. "In the best tradition of our New Classics Initiative, Herbert's dystopian reimagining offers a thrilling new context for Shakespeare's play; and we're grateful for the work of Remote to bring not just this play but a bevy of beloved Bay Area artists to our screens through this virtual reading."

"My artistic journey into the world of EL HENRY- with my long time friend and collaborator, Herbert Siquenza, our new company ARC, Cal Shakes, and Remote -- has created a perfect creative storm," said Martinez."I'm excited that EL HENRY is enabling us to reinvent our theater families and the new way of doing our work together."

It's the year 2045 in a huge, run-down metropolis called Aztlan City (formerly San Diego), where political apathy and corruption run the city while violent barrio families run the streets. It's a harsh new world where Hispanics, Mexicans and Chicanos rule as the majority in a society abandoned by Anglo America. When El Hank, the ambitious leader of all the barrios, finds his street kingdom threatened by El Tomas and his hot-headed son El Bravo, he seeks the help of his brave and charismatic son El Henry. But El Hank finds his son wrapped up with a bunch of low-life thieves and drunkards headed by the lazy Fausto. Written in a unique poetic cadence called Calo, which mixes urban Spanish and English slang, El Henry explores the universal themes of loyalty, honor and family through the lens of Barrio machismo.

"I believe Shakespeare should be adapted for 21st-century audiences," said Siguenza. "Reimagining great stories to be both timely and relevant is what Shakespeare did himself. We're proud to be part of that great tradition."

To register for EL HENRY, please visit https://bit.ly/3oi4OkX


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