The Shakespeare Performance Troupe will present the Bard’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2, in Thomas Great Hall on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 7:30 p.m. This is the group’s second production of the semester following Julius Caesar in early November. Henry IV is directed by Rebecca Cook ’15.
The Shakespeare Performance Troupe is a student-run theatre group dedicated to performing the works of Shakespeare and related canon. Productions are chosen through an election process and have even included 20th century plays. Recent performances include: The Women by Clare Booth Luce, Twelfth Night, and The Comedy of Errors. The group is one of the largest organizations on campus, with 60 active participants.
Because all roles are performed by students, the Shakespeare Performance Troupe employs gender as a tool for re-imagining characters and adding a fresh perspective to classical works. Each semester actors participate in a “Manshop,” a workshop dedicated to helping performers experiment with gender presentation. “By changing the gender of just one or two characters, you can impact the show in surprising ways,” says Angela Rosenberg ‘15, one of the group co-coordinators.
English professor and Shakespearean scholar Katherine Rowe continues to be a tremendous resource for the group. From consulting with directors on scripts to lending an eye for interpretation, Rowe is a generous volunteer. “She’s an invaluable resource and we are so grateful for her assistance,” says Rosenberg.
While previous productions have been held in Rhoads Great Hall, Henry IV will be staged in Thomas Great Hall. “It’s an incredible honor,” says Rosenberg of the venue change. The group has also been working with a professional fight choreographer, promising some intense battle scenes.
Next semester the Shakespeare Performance Troupe will produce As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet. Admission is free and performances are open to all members of the community. More information on the Shakespeare Performance Troupe is available on their blog.
— Ivy Gray-Klein ’14