The Adirondack Shakespeare Company returns to the Manhattan theatre scene,partnering once again with St. John's University College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law to present four of Shakespeare's early history plays.
ADK Shakes is excited to revisit these plays that are generally unfamiliar to even many Bard aficionados, but are nevertheless filled with raging battles, political intrigue, passion, and all the elements that can be found in the later, greater works. "Shakespeare's Henry VI plays are rarely produced, and here we are putting them up for a second time in less than five years," says the company's Artistic Director, Tara Bradway. "It's pretty exciting to revisit these more obscure works before we've even touched some of Shakespeare's most popular titles like Much Ado About Nothing or even The Taming of the Shrew. I love that we are embracing our inner nerd." There's also an element of nostalgia for the group as these are the very first plays that ADK Shakes produced.
This spring's offerings are actually part of a larger project that ADK Shakes is working on called The Kingship Cycle, which covers eight of Shakespeare's English history plays. Next spring, the company takes on the more sophisticated tetralogy of Richard II, 1 & 2 Henry IV, and Henry V. In both parts of The Kingship Cycle, ADK Shakes is focusing on the continuity of the story. Many of the characters appear in two or more of the plays, so you can savor the chance to see Richard Duke of Gloster played through all three shows by the same actor, Whit Leyenberger. "It's a very rare opportunity to build an ensemble across all of these shows, and I am unaware of any company that has produced them uncut and unadapted in repertory like this," says Executive Director Patrick Siler, who is also a member of The Acting Company.
ADK Shakespeare's mission is to bring powerful, Moving Theatre to their audiences, without the burden of spectacle. The company relies on the skill of their actors, the beauty of the words, and the imagination of their audience to bring these classic pieces to life. Their signature "Shakespeare IN THE RAW" method focuses on what they feel are the most important building blocks of the theatre: the words, the actors, and the audience. ADK Shakes proudly jettisons sets, elaborate costumes, props, and even rehearsal time in favor of a more original practice. Preserving the entirety of the play uncut, each production rehearses only for about 12 hours, infusing the performance with an unmatched energy not often found in the theatre.
Friday, March 8 - 1 Henry VI
Saturday, March 9 - 2 Henry VI
Friday, April 5 - 3 Henry VI
Saturday April 6 - Richard III
Saval Auditorium, 2nd Floor
101 Murray St, New York, NY 10007
Friday, March 15 - 1 Henry VI
Saturday, March 16 - 2 Henry VI
Friday, April 12 - 3 Henry VI
Saturday, April 13 - Richard III
Friday, April 19 - 1 Henry VI
Saturday, April 20 - 2 Henry VI at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 20 - 3 Henry VI
Sunday, April 21 - Richard III at 2:00 p.m.
Moot Courtroom, 2nd Floor, Belson Hall
8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439
Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. except where noted. Doors open one half-hour prior to curtain.
Tickets: General Admission - $12 (advance) / $15 (at-the-door); Students/Seniors - $10; Children (12 & under) - FREE; St. John's Students w/ID - FREE (a $5 donation is suggested). Visitadkshakes.ticketleap.com for advance purchase.