A rare opportunity for audiences to see a historical Shakespeare production occurs this summer with Illinois Shakespeare Festival’s (ISF) Henry V. Centered around the Battle of Agincourt (1415), King Henry weighs whether or not to begin another war. His political dilemmas seem all too familiar for today.
Directed by Karen Kessler, Henry V opens on July 12 and is performed in rotation with The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Ewing Theatre on the Ewing Cultural Center grounds.
Seasoned, young actor Jordan Coughtry returns to ISF to portray King Henry. Coughtry previously appeared at the Festival in Failure: A Love Story, Macbeth, and The Comedy of Errors. Coughtry is an Artistic Collective member at the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre and has performed nine seasons at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey as well as in several regional roles.
The cast includes Quetta Carpenter as Exeter, Asa Wallace as Gloucester, Jack Hradecky as Bedford, Kelsey Busboom as York, Christopher Jenkins as Westmoreland, Thomas Anthony Quinn as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Drew Vidal as the Bishop of Ely, Thomas Anthony Quinn as Charles, King of France, Abraham Ntonya as Lewis, the Dauphin, and Katherine Fried as Katherine, Princess of France, among others. Wallace, Hradecky, Busboom, Jenkins, Ntonya, and Fried make their ISF debut this summer while Carpenter, Quinn, and Vidal make their return to the Festival.
Director Karen Kessler returns to ISF after previously directing The Three Musketeers (2010), Scapin (2009), Macbeth (2005), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2002), The Taming of the Shrew (2000), and All’s Well that Ends Well (2007). Other creative team members include Jeffrey D. Kmiec (scenic design), Brandon R. McWilliams (costume design), Dan Ozminkowski (lighting design), John Tovar (fight director), Katherine Steele Brokaw (text consultant), and M. Anthony Reimer (sound design).
All performances of Henry V and The Merry Wives of Windsor will take place at the Ewing Theatre, located at the corner of Emerson Street and Towanda Avenue. Shakespeare in Love is the third mainstage production of the 2018 Festival and will be performed at the Center for Performing Arts Theatre on the campus of Illinois State University. Pre-show entertainment will take place on the grounds of the Ewing Cultural Center and on the Illinois State University Quad before several performances.
Tickets are available at Illinois State University’s Center for Performing Arts box office Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. or by calling 309-438-2535 during box office hours. Tickets can also be purchased online by visiting IllinoisShakes.com. Single ticket prices range from $20–$54. Season tickets include all three plays and are only $40–$109.
For more information about the Festival, visit IllinoisShakes.com.