The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is launching its 2012 milestone 50th Anniversary season tonight with William Shakespeare’s saga of a young prince’s reformation and ascent to manhood – Henry IV, Part One. Considered one of Shakespeare’s most popular history plays, this rousing tale has not been produced on The Shakespeare Theatre stage in 20 years. Henry IV, Part One begins performances tonight, May 30 and runs through June 24 at the Theatre’s Main Stage – the F. M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre. All tickets, including discounted ticket packages are now on sale. For tickets or for more information, call the box office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org. The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre is located at 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), in Madison.
Henry IV, Part One features Shakespeare’s brilliant invention of Falstaff, the colorful character who appears in three of the Bard’s plays. In Henry IV, Part One, we see him at the height of his rowdy and bawdy powers. Along with the delinquent Prince Hal, the fiery Hotspur, and a host of nobles and ner’er-do-wells, fact and fiction blend seamlessly under Shakespeare’s sure hand in this stirring and exuberant evening of theatre.
The cast features a combination of Shakespeare Theatre favorites and newcomers making their Shakespeare Theatre debut. One of the Theatre’s brightest, young leading men, Derek Wilson, returns to the Theatre for his seventh season to play the irresponsible Prince Hal, the Prince of Wales. Wilson appeared in The Shakespeare Theatre productions of No Man’s Land, The Comedy of Errors, and Henry VI: Blood and Roses among many others.
John Ahlin plays the hedonistic, witty and larger-than-life Sir John Falstaff. In his fifth season with the Theatre, Ahlin appeared most recently in A Christmas Carol, and All’s Well that Ends Well. On Broadway, he appeared in Waiting for Godot with Bill Irwin, Nathan Lane and John Glover, the Tony Award-winning Journey’s End, The Lieutenant of Inishimore, Voices in the Dark, One Mo’ Time and Whoopee!
Jon Barker returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for his fifth season to play the warrior Henry Percy, also known as Hotspur. Barker played Cassio in last season’s Othello and is a veteran of almost a dozen Shakespeare Theatre productions.
King Henry IV is played by Brent Harris who returns to The Shakespeare Theatre for his second season. Last season, he played the iconic role of Atticus Finch in the Theatre’s acclaimed To Kill A Mockingbird and the role of Alcibiades in Timon of Athens.
Other Shakespeare Theatre veterans returning for Henry IV, Part One include John Little (The Grapes of Wrath) as Earl of Westmoreland; Conan McCarty (To Kill A Mockingbird) as Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester; Doug West (Macbeth) as Lord Edmund Mortimer, Jeffrey M. Bender (Accidental Death of an Anarchist) as Poins, Patrick Toon (Othello) as Bardolph and Izzie Steele as the fiery Lady Percy. Making his Shakespeare Theatre debut is Maxon Davis as Archibald.
Rounding out the cast are Cliff Miller, Robert Grant, Glenn Beatty, Drew Dix, Jordan LaRoya, Jesse Graham and Cliff Miller.
Single tickets for Henry IV, Part One are now on sale and start at $32. Student Rush tickets are available 30-minutes before curtain for $10 with a valid student ID. For tickets, call the box office at 973-408-5600, visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org or email email@example.com. Single ticket prices include a $2 facility fee not subject to discount.
Discount ticket packages, offering discounts of up to 42% off regular prices, are also available. The Complete Works discount package, which includes the best seats to all six Main Stage productions, starts at $117 for previews. Student subscriptions are available for an amazing deal at only $60 for all six Main Stage productions. Five-play and 4-play discount packages start at $84. Discount ticket packages feature the best seats to all Main Stage productions; free, easy and unlimited ticket exchanges should schedules change; discounts on additional tickets for the Main Stage and the Outdoor Stage; and the convenience of having tickets in hand and dates scheduled in advance. Call the box office at 973-408-5600. Look for more information at www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
Preview performances for Henry IV, Part One are May 30th at 7:30 pm, May 31st and June 1st at 8 pm, and June 2nd at 2 pm. These Preview performances offer opportunities for reduced-priced tickets while enjoying the excitement of the very first performances in front of an audience. As always, the first Preview performance is Pay What You Can night. Visit The Shakespeare Theatre Box Office before 7:30 p.m. tonight, May 30th and purchase a ticket for what you are able to pay for that evening’s 7:30 preview performance (offer subject to availability).