Main Street Theater collaborates for the second time with international partner Prague Shakespeare Company to present Shakespeare's Henry V. Featuring live Taiko drummers and an ensemble of 14 actors, the production will run in Houston in March and April and in Prague in the fall. MST and PSF produced Shakespeare's Richard III last season which was critically acclaimed both in Houston and in Prague.
"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers / For he today that sheds his blood with me / Shall be my brother..." (Shakespeare). Henry V is Shakespeare's majestic yet raw and utterly human take on war and its profound impact on those affected by it. Says director Guy Roberts, "The play is a powerful exploration of leadership, courage, and the human experience of battle. Intensely patriotic while at the same time questioning the morality of war, Shakespeare's tale of a young king seeking to heal his wounded land and unite his people is a play for our time."
With previews March 16, 17, and 20, Henry V opens March 21 and runs through April 21 at MST - Rice Village, 2540 Times Blvd. Performances are on Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm. Tickets start at $20, depending on date and section. Tickets are on sale in person at the Main Street Theater Box Office, 2540 Times Blvd., via phone at 713.524.6706, or online at www.mainstreettheater.com.
Shakespeare's glorious, bold, and witty tale is set in England in the early fifteenth century. Young King Henry V has just assumed the throne. Bitter civil wars have left the people of England restless and dissatisfied. Furthermore, in order to gain the respect of the English people and the court, Henry must live down his wild adolescent past. He lays claim to certain parts of France, based on his distant roots in the French royal family and on a very technical interpretation of ancient land laws. When the young French prince (the Dauphin) sends Henry an insulting message in response to these claims, Henry decides to invade France. The climax of the war comes at the famous Battle of Agincourt, at which the English are outnumbered by the French five to one. What happens in the end is nothing short of a miracle...
The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2.
Post-Show Discussion Series: Following the matinees on March 24 and April 7, MST continues its Post-show Discussion Series. On March 24: a discussion about the artistic process with director Guy Roberts and the cast. On April 7: a discussion with esteemed Rice professor J. Dennis Huston, Ph.D.
Guy Roberts, recently seen at MST as Richard III in last year's collaboration and as Michael Bakunin in The Coast of Utopia, will play Henry as well as direct the production.
Mr. Roberts is also the Artistic Director of the Prague Shakespeare Company. "PSC is continental Europe's only professional English-language Shakespeare company, employing artists from across Europe and North America," notes Roberts. "I am delighted that by partnering once again with Main Street Theater, we are able to share the very best of Houston's theatrical talent with a large global audience in Prague."
The cast includes Jessica Boone, Bob Boudreaux, Rutherford Cravens, Jared Doreck, Philip Hays, Jovan Jackson, Seán Patrick Judge, Crystal O'Brien, Bill Roberts, Celeste Roberts, Mark Roberts, David Wald, and Steve Zinkgraf. The Taiko drummers are Khechar Boorla and Nicholas Hill. Elissa Levitt is the Assistant Director.
The design team includes Ryan McGettigan (set design), Margaret Crowley (costume design), Carrie Cavins (lighting design), and Rodney Walsworth (properties design). Debs Ramser is the production stage manager.
The Prague Shakespeare Company presents professional theatre productions, workshops, classes, lectures and other theatrical events, of the highest quality, conducted primarily in English by a multinational ensemble of professional theatre artists, with an emphasis on the plays of William Shakespeare, bringing to the Czech Republic, European and World audiences English-language based performances that are fresh, bold, imaginative, thought-provoking, and eminently accessible, connecting the truths of the past with the challenges and possibilities of today.
Main Street Theater was founded in 1975. We produce plays at two locations, 2540 Times Boulevard in Rice Village and 4617 Montrose Boulevard at Chelsea Market. Our MainStage is in its 38th season and its 13th season operating under an Actors' Equity Association union contract. The MainStage features new works (including numerous world and regional premieres), rediscovered classics, passionate revivals, works by female playwrights, and neglected musicals in the intimate setting of our Rice Village location. Our Theater for Youth is Houston's most-attended theater for young audiences, serving over 130,000 children and families from the greater Houston area in school performances, weekend family matinees and tours to schools and community centers across the state of Texas. Plays are selected based on literature children are reading at home or at school. Our Education Department offers students a performing arts playground where professional theater artists serve as mentors. In support of Main Street Theater's mission, our Education Department provides a significant resource in the community for education in theater and classical theater for children, families and educators and provides classes and camps (on and off-site) as well as programs in residential treatment facilities for Harris County youth.