Tennessee Shakespeare Company
“Ascends the highest heaven of invention”
with its action-packed
in partnership with the University of Memphis'
School of Theatre and Dance on the U of M Mainstage
Sponsored by FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor;
Pat, Ernest, Marian and Martha Kelly
Henry V Trailer
Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, calls to action-packed theatrical life the battlefields and courts of an ambitious young king in William Shakespeare’s masterwork on the chaos of war and the romance of peace: Henry V.
The rousing play famous for its many powerful speeches and orations, including “O for a muse of fire,” and “Once more unto the breach,” and “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” plays in a fun, new “wooden o” on the University’s mainstage from June 9-19.
Featuring a new, Elizabethan seating configuration that places patrons just off the raised stage (for only $10), a moving set, and slides of original wood-cuts from the early 15th century, TSC’s production of Henry V employs ten professional actors, including AEA performers from around the country. They will play over 30 roles in what is perhaps Shakespeare’s most theatrically self-aware play: “And let us, ciphers to this great account,/On your imaginary forces work.”
Photo: Colton Swibold as Henry V
Though costumed for 15th century battle and adorned for the period’s courts of England and France, the company of actors constantly address their audience, changing costumes and characters in plan view, inviting the audience to become the eleventh actor.
The production’s title sponsors are FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor; and Pat, Ernest, Marian, and Martha Kelly. Together, they make possible Free Will Kids’ Night each Thursday night (up to four children 17 years and younger admitted free when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian). Additional funding is generously provided by the University of Memphis and First Tennessee Foundation.
Henry V is produced in memory of TSC friend, Dan Copp, who died in 2015. From 1943 to 1945, Lieutenant Copp served in the U.S. Navy on the battleship Tennessee. He saw action in the Pacific theater from the Aleutians to the South Sea Islands. With this production, TSC honors Dan’s courage, service, and friendship.
Directed by TSC’s Stephanie Shine (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet), Henry V features a professional ensemble from around the country: Montana native Colton Swibold in the title role, Paul Kiernan (recently in TSC’s Twelfth Night) as Fluellen/Canterbury/Cambridge/Burgundy, Gabriel Vaughan (recently in TSC’s Twelfth Night) as Dauphin/Westmerland/Jamy/Williams, Phil Darius Wallace (recently in TSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Exeter/Nym/Orleance, Michael Khanlarian (recently in TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well) as Pistol/Constable, Heather Roberts (TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well) as Montjoy/Quickly/Alice/MacMorris, and Kaitlyn Maurer (TSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Katherine/Grey/French prisoner.
New to the acting company are Jeffrey David Kent as Gower/French King/Ely/Erpingham, Blake Currie as Gloucester/boy, and Nic Picou as Scroop/Borbon/Bates/Bardolph.
The design team includes Janice Benning Lacek (costumes), Brian Ruggaber (scenic and properties), Anthony Pellecchia (lighting), Jo Sanburg (sound), and Mike O’Nele (technical director). The production stage manager is Ashley J. Nickas.
From 1595-1599, William Shakespeare created, along with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, and As You Like It, his second historical tetralogy. Both in order of writing and chronology of actual events, Shakespeare begins with the deposing of King Richard II, continues with the reign and civil war of King Henry IV, and concludes with the rise of a boy from riotous youth in the company of the fat knight Falstaff to a young man suddenly armed with power in the company of protectors, the church, and his God.
At the center of Shakespeare’s Henry V is England’s 15th century military invasion of France in an effort by the king and church, rightly they believe, if Byzantine, to win back the crown and land of France that they believe is rightfully theirs. The French disagree. Leaving three quarters of his military might to defend England from an imagined invasion by the Scots, King Henry and his happy few invade France, winning impossible victories (and a Queen) that remain conquests of tremendous courage, strategy, and, some may say, miracle.
The play, to Shakespeare’s everlasting credit, has been used variously even in just the past 80 years to embolden the mother country under German nighttime bombings during World War II and to strip away the trappings of patriotism to reveal the grim and mortal realities of war and its birth at the turn of our own century. Shakespeare, engaging both horror and humor, presents the question of war – not the answer.
At the play’s human level, though, Shakespeare gives us a young Hal now in his third play. The boy who defeated the honorific rebel Hotspur in his return from profligacy to protect his father and his realm is now parentless. And as the clergy remark at the top of the play, the new king is like a ripening strawberry, discovered beneath the nettles of his youth. As strong as his character and resolve have become, his gift for persuasive speech and his ability to rouse in both peace and war a mass of men to die for him and his country remains largely without compare in English literature. In this play of war, the excitement is stirred by language.
"Henry V is Shakespeare's most inherently theatrical play,” says Shine. “From its opening lines, it invites the audience to help create the play with their imaginations, citing the necessity for participation that gives promise to an exciting adventure. TSC's production will build upon that structure with on-stage seating flanking a raised stage that plays in front of the mainstage. Audiences and actors alike will enjoy the close proximity to one another, and the intimacy it affords the story-telling."
Performance Schedule at the University of Memphis’ Mainstage (Theatre Building on Central Ave.)
Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 pm: Preview; Free Will Kids’ Night
Friday, June 10 at 7:00 pm: Preview
Saturday, June 11 at 7:00 pm: Opening; Post-show party
Sunday, June 12 at 3:00 pm
Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 pm: Free Will Kids Night
Friday, June 17 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 pm
Sunday, June 19 at 3:00 pm: Closing
All performances are general admission (first come/first seated) and will be played on the indoor Mainstage at the University of Memphis’ Theatre Building, located on campus at 3745 Central Avenue.
The preview performances on June 9 and 10 are only $16. All other performances are $34 and are on sale now. New: on-stage seats are available at all performances for $10.
Two Thursday night performances (June 9 and 16) are Free Will Kids’ Nights: Children 17 years and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian.
All Seniors ($29) and college students ($16) receive discounts with a valid I.D.
Purchase tickets in person Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC’s office located at 3092 Village Shops Drive in Germantown, or by calling 901-759-0604, or by going on-line to www.tnshakespeare.org. The TSC Box Office inside the U of M Theatre Building will begin selling tickets one hour prior to each performance on-site. No refunds/exchanges. Cast/schedule subject to change. Parking is available in the Central Avenue lot across from the theatre building. No babes-in-arms will be permitted in the audience for this production.
Neil Freeman (First Folio text) was a teacher, director, text coach, and actor. He remains the man behind the acclaimed First Folio editions published by Applause and utilized across the globe. Neil served as Associate Professor Emeritus (of Theatre) at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and he was also a Master Teacher with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox and a Text Consultant to several other U.S. and Canadian theatres. His teaching, coaching, and directing ranged from the fifteen-year-olds in youth companies to high school teachers, through university level students (undergraduate and graduate in both liberal arts and the top-ranked professional training schools) to professional theatre companies and individual actors. We miss him.
Jeffrey David Kent* (Ely/Gower/French King/Erpingham) is a member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, where his credits include The Servant of Two Masters (Pantalone) directed by Dan McCleary. Other S&Co credits include The Tamer Tamed (Grumio), Kerfol (Judge), and The International Episode (Jack Westgate). Other regional credits include work with Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Company, Capital Rep Theatre, and Philadelphia Theatre Company. Jeff is the co-creator and performer of the one-man show, Josh Billings Live.
Michael Khanlarian (Pistol/Constable) is a founding company member of TSC and a graduate of the University of Memphis. Michael can next be seen in an adapted version of Mark Twain's Letters From The Earth in early November at Theatre South.
Paul Kiernan* (Canterbury/Cambridge/Fluellen/Burgundy) has worked at regional theaters across the country, including TSC’s Twelfth Night (Toby), The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), and Richard III (Clarence). Other favorites include Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano) at the Hanger Theater, 12 Angry Men (Juror #10) at Pioneer Theater, Skin in Flames (Dr. Brown) at Salt Lake Acting Company, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Falstaff) at Arkansas Shakespeare, The Tempest (Stephano) at St. Louis Shakespeare, and The Crucible (Reverend Parris) at Pioneer Theater. Film/TV: HBO series From the Earth to the Moon, Luck of the Irish, Go Figure, The Cell 2, and Ice Spiders. Paul is also a writer, has worked for Disney, and his plays have been produced in New York, Florida, Boston, and Michigan.
Janice Benning Lacek (Costume Designer) TSC: costume design for All’s Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2015; and makeup design for A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2009 and The Tempest. She has designed costumes across the U.S. and internationally for theatre, opera, and dance since 1987. Highlights include La Jolla Playhouse, A.C.T., Syracuse Stage, San Diego Rep, American University of Cairo, Egypt, and over 23 productions of works by William Shakespeare with the Colorado, Utah, and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals. CSF’s Richard II was included by invitation in the U.S. entry at the 1999 Prague Quadrennial. Janice has taught costume design at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Kenyon College. She joined the University of Memphis faculty in 2007. Janice is a former resident designer and founding company member of Denver’s Curious Theatre Company. Mid-South audiences have also seen Janice’s work in recent years also with Opera Memphis and Theatre Memphis.
Kaitlyn Maurer (Princess Katherine/Grey/French Prisoner) recently graduated from the University of Memphis, earning a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Performance. She was last seen at Tennessee Shakespeare Company in last year’s A Midsummer Night's Dream (Mustardseed). Other credits: The School for Scandal (Sneerwell), Macbeth (Lady Macduff/Witch), The Little Prince (Rose), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Ophelia), and Eleemosynary (Artie) at the UofM.
Ashley J. Nickas* (Production Stage Manager) TSC: All’s Well That Ends Well. Some of Ashley's recent credits include being the SM intern for the Broadway company of Wicked, PSM for Pimm’s Mission with Oberon Theatre Ensemble, rehearsal SM for Her Speech as part of Planet Connections' Playwrights For A Cause, PSM for Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women in Rochester, NY, and event SM at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA.
Anthony Pellecchia (Lighting Designer/Production Manager) is the Assistant Professor of Lighting and Sound Design at the University of Memphis Department of Theatre and Dance. Anthony received his MFA from The Ohio State University in 2009, and since then his creative scholarship has explored the fusion of lighting composition, automation, and projections with live performance. Anthony's professional and academic work in theatre, dance, and opera has received awards and recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region V, USITT Ohio Valley, USITT Design Expo, and USA Weekender.
Nic Picou (Scroop/Bardolph/Borbon/Bates) will graduate this December with a BFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Memphis. Favorite credits: Song Liling (M. Butterfly, UofM), Philip (The Lion in Winter, Theatre Memphis), and Adrian Poynter (Private Eyes, CBU).
Heather Roberts (Montjoy/Alice/MacMorris/Hostess) TSC: All’s Well That Ends Well, 400: The Shakespeare Feast, The Romeo and Juliet Project, Lend Me Thy Sword. Heather is a member of The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, where she has been in The Ghost Sonata, Harry Potter Hamlet, and The Queen Family's Very Special Holiday Special. Other credits: Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Ark Theatre Co.), Twelfth Night (a Noise Within), All's Well That Ends Well (Seattle Shakespeare Co.), Marat/Sade (Balagan Theatre), Dead Man's Cell Phone (International City Theatre), Little Women (Culver City Public Theatre), and Mame (5th Avenue Theatre). She holds a BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts.
Brian Ruggaber (Scenic/Props Designer) TSC: All’s Well That Ends Well, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and Richard III. A recent transplant to Memphis, TN, he is an award-winning scenic designer who currently heads the Scenic Design Program at the University of Memphis. He has designed scenery for over 130 productions, including Opera, Drama, Musical Theatre, and Dance. Prior to joining UofM’s faculty, he was an Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and an Associate Professor of Design at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and has an MFA from the University of Massachusetts and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jo Sanburg (Sound Designer) is a second-year graduate student at the University of Memphis with an emphasis in sound design and composition. Most recent credits include sound design for Theatre Memphis’ production of Hay Fever and audio engineer for the University’s production of Oklahoma! Past credits include composition for Illinois State University’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre, as well as sound design for Sweetwater Shakespeare Company of Western Colorado’s productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, and The Tempest. In the coming University of Memphis 2016-17 season, she will be sound designer for Little Shop of Horrors and Anon(ymous).
Stephanie Shine+* (Director) is the creator of The Romeo and Juliet Project as well as a resident artist for TSC. Her TSC directorial credits include Romeo and Juliet (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (2012, 2013), Southern Yuletide, and the touring shows Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll, and Shakespeare Said It! Onstage, she performed the female role in Unto the Breach and appeared as Gertrude in Hamlet and the Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well. From 1998-2011, she was the Artistic Director of Seattle Shakespeare Company. For SSC, she directed 17 productions including The Threepenny Opera, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the lauded all-male Taming of the Shrew. Other directorial credits include The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors for Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the award-winning one-woman internationally touring Marilyn Monroe Biopic, Marilyn: Forever Blonde, and several new works for Seattle's Book-It Repertory Theatre. Her production of I am of Ireland opened Book-It's 25th Anniversary Season in September of 2014. As an actor, she has performed with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, NYC's Theatre for a New Audience, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Alley Theatre in Houston, Arizona Theatre Company, ACT, The Empty Space, and Seattle Children's Theatre among others. Her Shakespeare roles include Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Regan, Feste, Kate, Bianca, Dionyza, The Princess of France, Hero, Perdita, and The Chorus in Henry V. Stephanie is a graduate of both the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program under Bob Hobbs.
Colton Swibold (King Henry V) has worked with the Montana Repertory Theatre’s National Tour circuit for the past four years with credits including Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Chris Keller) and Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues (Don Carney). Alongside acting, Colton has worked as a lighting designer and projections engineer for many productions produced in Montana and Manchester, New Hampshire’s Palace Theatre.
Gabriel Vaughan* (Dauphin/Westmoreland/Jamy/Williams) is a founding member of Tennessee Shakespeare Company where he has performed in As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Themes from a Midsummer Night, The Tempest, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night. NYC: Ross, House of Desires, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Master of Prayer, and The Winter’s Tale. Regional: Hamlet (Hamlet) with the American Stage Theatre Company; King John, A Tanglewood Tale, and Much Ado About Nothing with Shakespeare & Company, and Romeo and Juliet with Princeton Rep. Later this summer, Gabriel will be acting in All My Sons at the Weston Playhouse alongside his wife, Piper Goodeve. Together, they recently opened Little Town Studios, where they narrate and produce audiobooks.
Phil Darius Wallace* (Exeter/Nym/Orleance) is a founding member of Tennessee Shakespeare Company, where he has appeared in As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, The Tempest, The Glass Menagerie, and Hamlet. Currently, he is touring his Off-Broadway Show Self-Made Man: The Frederick Douglass Story around the country. His film credits include Live The Dream, The Department of Signs and Magical Intervention, and the TV stream Farell.
+ Member of The Society of Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
About the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance
The University of Memphis' Department of Theatre & Dance offers both the BFA and MFA degrees in theatre and is successfully training our next generation of theatre artists. The Department mounts a full season of plays and dance concerts in a variety of performance venues, large and small. With an emphasis on diversity and a breadth of experience only the performing arts can provide, the Department of Theatre & Dance provides audiences with the best in local theatre and dance. Upcoming productions feature a delightful mix of comedy and drama, music and dance. For more information: www.memphis.edu/theatre.