Henry V

By William Shakespeare

WHO: Ages 14 to 25   WHEN: June 19 – July 15, 2023  PRICE: $750

This four-week theatre intensive opens the door to the most widely read and most influential writer in all of history – William Shakespeare. Under the direction of award-winning actor and Yale Drama M.F.A. graduate Joseph Fuqua, students are immersed in the language and culture of “The Bard” while rehearsing and performing one of his masterpieces. During the four weeks, students develop a new appreciation for literature, learning about script analysis, scansion and verse, dialect, and vocal production. During this journey, students gain confidence and learn to trust in the power of their own voice.

PERFORMANCES: July 14, 7 p.m.; July 15, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

After an insult from the French Dauphin, King Henry V of England invades France to claim the throne he believes should be his. Henry stops an assassination plot, gives powerful speeches, and wins battles against the odds. In the end, he woos and marries the Princess of France, linking the two nations. Shakespeare’s most patriotic and inspiring play tells of the young king who seeks to unite his beloved England. After laying claim to French lands and being ridiculed, Henry marches off to war. Although sorely outnumbered, Henry rallies his troops and, at Agincourt, achieves a decisive victory.

Character Breakdown:

NOTE: Smaller roles will be combined.

HENRY V – Brilliant and unflappable, fiery, fearless and in many ways ruthless, but with a charisma and sense of humor that inspires others to follow him. Fiercely patriotic, a young man who was born to lead. His inspiring St. Crispin’s Day speech is considered one of the finest monologues in the English language.

CHORUS – Chorus acts as the play’s narrator, guiding us through the action and locations of the play, but may not always be reliable. He offers commentary on not just the action but the themes, and has an absolute but not always reliable opinion of what he sees. He is stylistically different from the other characters in the play, with a stylized grand rhetoric that informs tone.

DUKES OF GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD AND CLARENCE – Henry’s brothers and councilors with varying degrees of trust for the other noblemen. They are key supporters of Henry, assisting him with both on the battlefield and off. While they may not always agree with Henry, they are loyal.

DUKE OF EXETER – King Henry’s uncle, chief supporter, a valued follower, a warrior capable of great poetry- patriotic, and fearless in his support. Has a deep understanding of the wounds made to his country due to the infighting of the nobles. He is unafraid to insult the French king

DUKE OF YORK – brave to the point of asking permission to lead the vanguard at Agincourt, as staunch in death as he is in life.

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY– incites Henry to war against France, but he is motivated by money rather than patriotism, and is an unreliable advisor to Henry. He hopes to distract Henry from approving legislation that would result in seizing church property and funds, by laying out a case for war with France. Conniving, and manipulative, but with a convincing tone and powerful charismatic influence.

BISHOP OF ELY – in league with and follower of the Archbishop. Easily influenced, but equally convincing.

EARLS OF SALISBURY/WESTMORELAND AND WARWICK – solid supporters of the king, generals in the army, and messengers with news of unrest. Loyal warriors who also are capable of humor.

CAMBRIDGE/SCROOP/GREY – traitors to Henry. Conniving, ruthless, they perceive themselves as charming and influential, thus highlighting their delusion. Hired by the French to murder the King, they feign loyalty by working for Henry’s death behind his back. King Henry, however, knows of their intentions and uses their own words to trap them. By applying their advice, the King denies them clemency and executes them.

CAPTAIN FLUELLEN – hot-tempered, prickly, conceited, but is open and honest. A captain in the Welsh army who is perhaps a better soldier than those who surround him. His self confidence can be suffocating, but he is not without charm. Nationalistic.

CAPTAIN MACMORRIS – an Irish officer in the English army, easily offended, quick- tempered and ready to fight, but professional and respectful.

CAPTAIN JAMY – a Scottish officer in the English army. An opinionated person who loves a good dispute.

CAPTAIN GOWER – a calm and restrained man, who acts as a foil to Fluellen.

JOHN BATES – a soldier in the English army, fearful of what the battle will bring, expresses his displeasure at his circumstances, and is illustrative of the deflated morale of the English army before Agincourt.

MICHAEL WILLIAMS – a solider in the army, friend to Court and Bates, doubts the virtue of the English invasion of France, asserting that Henry’s cause is not righteous. Unknowingly and boldly shares his feelings to the disguised King Henry. Intelligent, and easily matches Henry point for point in their argument.

ALEXANDER COURT – frightened of battle, friend to Williams and Bates.

BARDOLPH – a former companion of the deceased Falstaff, now a soldier. A comic soldier and petty villain, swaggering.

PISTOL – Another of Falstaff’s companions, who proves himself coward. Overbearing and threatening, but when he captures a French soldier and attempts to demand ransom or kill him, the scene turns comic. Married to Hostess Quickly.

NYM – in love with Hostess Quickly, and so feuds with Pistol over their marriage. A cowardly braggart.

BOY – a companion of Bardolph, Pistol and Nym. Once Falstaff’s page, he comes to regret his association with the group. Smart, witty, saucy, and sympathetic.

HOSTESS QUICKLY – a strong woman with a substantial wit; smarter than her companions and loving. Deeply moved by Falstaff’s death.

MONTJOY – French herald. Arrogant and patronizing, but with a deep love for his country. He concedes the battle to Henry.

CHARLES VI, KING OF FRANCE – has a claim to the throne that Henry does not recognize. Once powerful, but now faltering, he becomes an ineffective adversary.

THE DAUPHIN – son of King Charles, and heir to the French throne. Cocky, at times petulant, entitled, and boastful.

DUKES OF BURGUNDY/BOURBON/ORLEANS/BRITTON/BERRI – French nobleman possessing feeble humor and with a penchant for insulting the English (just as the English insult the French). Negotiators, and warriors.

THE CONSTABLE OF FRANCE – more cautious than his colleagues, understands more of Henry’s character than do the other nobles, but does fall prey to the over-confidence of his countrymen.

LORDS RAMBURES AND GRANDPRE – French noblemen and leaders who have no doubt that the day will bring victory after studying the movement of the English.

GOVERNOR OF HARFLEUR – holds the town as best he can against Henry’s siege, but in the end admits defeat in the face of Henry’s power.

QUEEN ISABEL – wife to Charles. Understanding that her husband is deteriorating, creates factions of her own but ultimately admits defeat and embraces the marriage of Henry and Katharine at the end of the play.

PRINCESS KATHARINE – daughter of Charles and Isabel. Upright, loyal, funny, charming, and smart- an equal match to Henry’s wooing and wit. Many of her lines are in French.

ALICE – lady-in-waiting to Princess Katharine. Cautious, charming, loveable, committed to instructing her charge on the ways of the world.

ENSEMBLE – to play soldiers, nobles and messengers.