“From his confrontation with the close friends who betray him to his wooing of the French princess, Henry V is such a compelling character,” says Rep Producing Artistic Director and Henry V Director Bob Hupp. “A young king, untested, driven by ambition, strives for redemption and power through the cauldron of war and redefines his world in the process.”
Arkansas native Avery Clark most recently appeared in The 39 Steps in 2011 and as Hamlet in 2010, and will portray the young King Henry V in The Rep’s season opening production.
With the death of his father, young King Henry casts off the trappings of youthful misadventures and transforms into a leader of men. With his country wracked by strife, mocked by the French and eager to assert his birthright, Henry launches a rash invasion that culminates in the fateful battle of Agincourt. Weary and grossly outnumbered, the English face near certain defeat, but Henry’s inspirational leadership turns the tide of war and turns a man into a legend.
“The power of Henry V lies in its contradictions,” says Hupp. “Valor and cruelty, greed and generosity, honor and treachery. These contradictions make the play immediately accessible to a modern audience and help bring the characters to vivid life on the stage.”
NEA GRANT FOR HENRY V TO BENEFIT ARKANSAS STUDENTS
Arkansas Repertory Theatre is the only performing arts organization in Arkansas to receive this year’s Shakespeare for a New Generation grant from Arts Midwest. The Rep will offer its production of Henry V to more than 20 schools through student matinee performances over a three-week run, reaching more than 1,500 students across Arkansas. The Rep reached more than 5,000 students last season through its Student Matinee Program.
“Henry V is politics, it is history, it is the human condition in extraordinary circumstances,” says Hupp. “To be able to explore these ideas with students across central Arkansas is a central objective of our work this fall. We look forward to bringing The Rep’s first foray into Shakespeare’s history plays to vivid life for audiences of all ages, and especially, with the help of this important grant, to enriching the experience for young audiences through a greater understanding of the creative, historical and cultural context of the play.”