Two River Theater Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2012-2013 Season with Shakespeare's Henry V, directed by Michael Sexton. Performances will begin in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, October 20 and continue through Sunday, November 11. The opening night performance is Friday, October 26 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or www.trtc.org. This production is sponsored by Monmouth University.
Shakespeare's timeless history play combines political intrigue, comedy, and romance. King Henry (played by Jacob Fishel, Roundabout's The Common Pursuit, The Public's Titus Andronicus) stakes his claim to rule France, having inherited the English throne after a wild adolescent past. After dispatching a small group of traitors among his troops, he and his loyal army win decisive-and surprising-victories against their enemies. Henry marries the daughter of the defeated King's daughter, bringing the promise of future peace to both countries. SuzzAnne Douglas (Two River's In This House, Broadway's 3 Penny Opera) plays the Chorus and four additional parts, and the entire acting ensemble plays multiple roles.
The production will unfold on an elegant, open set featuring large moving panels inspired by the seminal artist Mark Rothko and designed by Andromache Chalfant, and will feature mid-century-modern costumes designed by Tilly Grimes.
Filled with rousing speeches that build to an epic battle, Henry V is often seen as a reflection of the time in which it is produced-an expression either of heroism and patriotism, or the grim realities of war. Michael Sexton, Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society in New York, sees the play as an exploration of individual responsibility and collective action.
Says Artistic Director John Dias, "Henry V is the first of Shakespeare's history plays to be produced at Two River Theater, and it is a wonderful play to produce during an election year and at this moment in American history. Michael Sexton is a gifted interpreter of Shakespeare's text and language, and he excels at making it accessible and vital for audiences. His company of actors, led by Jacob and Suzzanne-and including many Two River returning favorites-are telling this story beautifully, and will invite the audience to open their imaginations in an exciting way."
The full company of Henry V includes Connor Carew (Duke of Gloucester, Governor of Harfleur, Messenger), SuzzAnne Douglas (Chorus, Hostess, Erpingham, Grandpre, Queen Isabel), Evander Duck (Sir Thomas Grey, French King), Jacob Fishel (Henry V), Michael Genet (Duke of Exeter), Kevin Kelly (Captain Gower), Ian Lassiter (Captain MacMorris, Duke of Orleans, Michael Williams), Ben Mehl (Lord Scroop, Dauphin, Captain Jamy), Ismenia Mendes (Katherine, Boy), Howard W. Overshown (Constable), Geoffrey Owens (Archbishop of Canterbury, Pistol), Jesse J. Perez (Bishop of Ely, Corporal Nym, Duke of Bourbon, Montjoy), Thom Sesma (Lieutenant Bardolph, Alice, French Soldier, Duke of Burgundy) and Brendan Titley (Earl of Cambridge, Captain Fluellen).
Michael Sexton has been Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society since 2005. He most recently directed Kelly Masterson's Edith with Jayne Atkinson and Jack Gilpin at the Berkshire Theatre Festival and Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus with Jay O. Sanders at The Public Theater. His work has been seen at Red Bull Theater, New York Theatre Workshop, MCC Theater, Classic Stage Company, Soho Rep, and other theaters in New York and around the country. In addition to his work as a director of classical theater, he has directed New York premieres of plays by Rinne Groff, Will Eno, Marsha Norman, Tony Kushner, Caryl Churchill, and Ain Gordon, among others.