Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival celebrates its 20th season, and the 400th anniversary of the Bard of Avon’s death, with Shakespeare’s Henry V. Performances are June 24 – July 10 in Kingsmen Park on the Thousand Oaks campus of California Lutheran University. Festival grounds open at 5:30 pm for picnicking and pre-show entertainment.
Michael J. Arndt, a founding member of the festival and the company’s artistic director, directs. Ty Mayberry, who debuted at the festival in 2013 as Hamlet, will play King Henry. The production will also feature a number of Kingsmen veterans. Marc Silver, who appeared in the first season and many thereafter, plays Pistol. Returning after several years’ absence is octogenarian Robert Nairn in the role of Sir Thomas Erpingham.
Other returning Kingsmen favorites include Michael Faulkner, Angela Gulner and Ross Hellwig. John Slade, who directed Henry V at the 2004 festival and has played King Lear and other Kingsmen roles, will portray the Archbishop of Canterbury and Charles the Sixth, King of France. Jason Rennie, who was in the first Kingsmen Apprentice Company and performed as the pre-show “fire breather” in the early years, is choreographing several battle sequences employing most of the 35 cast members.
Henry V is the only one of Shakespeare’s histories that features a chorus character who narrates the action. Kingsmen’s production sets the play in the historical period of the real King Henry, but the chorus character will be portrayed as a 21st-century news reporter, presenting the story as if she were narrating a documentary film.
It will feature a distinctive set by Erik Diaz, period costumes by Howard Schmitt, lighting by Leigh Allen and an original electronic music score by Christopher Hoag. (Hoag’s scores, by the way, are typically stunning.)
The Kingsmen Shakespeare Company is the professional theater company of Cal Lutheran. The company also provides apprentice programs for professional and aspiring Shakespearean actors, an educational tour program and summer youth theater camps.
June 24 – July 10, 2016 (8pm)
Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival
General admission tickets are $20 for adults and free for children under 18. Individual tickets are available at the door only. For lawn box reservations, visit kingsmenshakespeare.org or call 805-493-3014.