HENRY V Background

WHAT MAKES A KING?
BWBTC and an all-female cast present Shakespeare’s tale of a newly-anointed ruler with a lot to atone for… and a lot to prove.

Ascending the throne of England after the death of his father, young Henry V faces suspicion from within his country and pressure from without. Hoping to unite his kingdom and ensure its future security, he embarks on a risky campaign to conquer France. The odds are against him… but will his people rally around him? And when two rival nations each claim the God-given right to rule the other, will human determination be enough to win the day?

Why all-female?
“I think that when you move beyond what’s considered “traditional” casting in classical works, it gives the audience the opportunity to look at the show with new eyes,” says director Hayley Rice. “Let’s be honest – we’ve all seen a lot of Shakespeare, and Henry V in particular is a piece that many theatre fans feel rather familiar with (thanks, Kenneth Branagh). Shaking up the casting – in this case, gender-wise – helps people move beyond what they assume the play has to say, and frees them to come up with fresh interpretations.”

Why Henry V?
“The action of Henry V takes place during the Hundred Years’ War between France and England,” Rice continues. “While the time span is not as long, the United States has been engaged in conflicts in the Middle East for over 15 years, embroiled in the region’s unrest for decades beyond that, and one cannot help but feel that nothing will be resolved in the near future. The undeniable parallel – the sense of slogging through a battle that’s both predestined and never-ending – makes this play both timely and accessible.”

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