A YOUNG HENRY VIII TAKES THE STAGE AT THE SHAKESPEARE THEATRE OF NEW JERSEY
MADISON, NJ —Next up on its Main Stage, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents the Bard’s epic pageant play Henry VIII. Centered around the tug-of-wars between church and state and husband and wife, the play culminates in the birth of England’s future Queen Elizabeth I, Shakespeare’s great patron and Henry’s fierce and very female heir. Performances begin October 15 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue in Madison. Tickets start at $25 for preview performances and $32 for regular performances. Student rush tickets for all performances are $15, available a half-hour before curtain for with a valid student ID. Performances are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. For tickets, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visitwww.ShakespeareNJ.org.
The rarely-produced history play has not appeared on The Shakespeare Theatre stage in more than 30 years. As Artistic Director Bonnie Monte explains, “I have always maintained that if a director would be willing to create a smart and very streamlined version, then the many brilliant aspects of the play could shine more brightly. After a 2012 reading of the play, director Paul Mullins took on the challenge and managed to convince me!”
Shakespeare depicts the notorious monarch as a charismatic, young man, obsessed with producing an heir to carry on his legacy. The first two of Henry’s six wives take center stage as the political machinations of the court and church swirl about them. Believed to have been first produced around 1610, Henry VIII was Shakespeare’s “most contemporary” history play; the monarchy’s break with the Roman Catholic Church and Reformation were events still very fresh in the audience’s mind. Henry VIII, one of the Bard’s final plays, marks both a departure from his late romances and an almost-nostalgic return to the courtly pageant plays of his youth. A 1613 production at the Globe Theatre diligently replicated the pomp and circumstance of court masques and included live canon fire which, tragically and infamously, ignited the theater’s thatched roof and burned down the Globe.
In the title role, company member David Foubert returns to the Theatre for his eighth season where he has previously appeared in Around the World in Eighty Days, The Winter’s Tale, and The Merry Wives of Windsor, among many others. He has worked with The Acting Company, Seattle Shakespeare, and North Carolina Shakespeare. His film and television credits include All My Children, Shakespeare on Security (AT&T), and The Hacking Chronicles (AT&T).
Philip Goodwin plays the enigmatic Cardinal Wolsey. His company credits include the Stage Manager in last season’s Our Town, as well as A Christmas Carol, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, and The Little Foxes. He has appeared on Broadway in Tartuffe, The Diary of Anne Frank, and The School for Scandal and off-Broadway at The Public, MCC, Atlantic Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, and Theater for a New Audience where he received a Drama Desk nomination for the title role in Henry VI. As a company member of the Shakespeare Theatre Company of Washington, D.C. he received Helen Hayes Awards for Twelfth Night, Timon of Athens, and An Enemy of the People. His film and television credits include The Pink Panther, The Pink Panther 2, Men in Black II, and Law & Order.
Jessica Wortham plays King Henry’s first wife, Katherine of Aragon. Wortham most recently performed in the world premiere of Informed Consent at Cleveland Play House and Geva Theater Center. She has worked extensively with Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Humana Festival, and regionally with San Jose Rep, Capital Rep, Florida Rep, Virginia Stage Company and Trinity Rep and in NYC at the Public Theater, Soho Rep and HERE. She has also appeared on the FX series The Americans and holds an MFA from Brown University.
As Thomas Cranmer, Clark Scott Carmichael returns for his twelfth season with the Theatre where he has appeared in this summer’s The Learned Ladies on the Outdoor Stage, Pericles, The Liar, A Christmas Carol, All’s Well That Ends Well, Henry VI, That Scoundrel Scapin, Carnival!, among others. He appeared on Broadway as Jumper in Tom Stoppard’s Jumpers, directed by David Leveaux and starring Simon Russell Beale. His film and television credits include the hit series House of Cards, Boardwalk Empire, Campbell Scott’s Hamlet and the forthcoming films Sweet Lorraine starring Tatum O’Neal and Hard Sell starring Kristin Chenoweth.
Thomas Michael Hammond plays the Duke of Buckingham and Griffith in his third season with The Shakespeare Theatre. His Broadway credits include Lucky Guy, A Raisin in the Sun, Death of a Salesman, the Merchant of Venice. His television credits include Blue Bloods, The Blacklist, Taxi Brooklyn, and the upcoming feature film El Chupacabra.
As the Earl of Surrey, Eric Hoffmann appears in his ninth season with The Shakespeare Theatre where he was last seen in Oliver Twist. He spent three seasons at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego where his numerous appearances included Sir Toby in Twelfth Night, Ragueneau in Cyrano de Bergerac, and Pompey in Measure for Measure. He also spent three years touring Europe and Asia playing Officer Krupke in the 50th Anniversary World Tour of West Side Story.
Matthew Simpson plays Thomas Cromwell and Cardinal Campeius in his sixth season with The Shakespeare Theatre, where he last appeared as Orlando in As You Like It on the Outdoor Stage. He is currently in his fourth season as an Artistic Associate with the Texas Shakespeare Festival. His regional credits include Denver Center Theatre Company, Guthrie Theatre, three seasons with the Resident Ensemble Players, and a national tour of Classics! with Chamber Theatre Productions of Boston.
Shakespeare Theatre veteran Matt Sullivan plays the Duke of Norfolk. Sullivan has appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre in this summer’s The Devil’s Disciple, as well as Tovarich, The Playboy of the Western World, Trelawny of the Wells, among others. His numerous credits include The Minetta Lane off-Broadway, the Guthrie Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, The New York Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company in D.C., Hartford Stage, and Dallas Theater Center.
Michael Earley plays Lord Chamberlain and Damien Baldet plays the Duke of Suffolk. Blythe Coons, Joseph Hamel, Alexander Korman, Katie Wieland, and Elisabeth Willis round out the cast.
Open Captioned Performance
An exclusive open-captioned performance will take place on Saturday, November 8 at 2 p.m. Captioning will be provided by c2 (caption coalition) inc, a 501(c)(3) non-profit company which utilizes Live Performance Captioning (sm) for Hard of Hearing and Deaf patrons at live theatrical and cultural events. For tickets or for more information, call the Box Office at 973-408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.
Henry VIII Snapshot
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Paul Mullins
Begins October 15
Previews: Wednesday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday, October 16 and 17 at 8 p.m., and Saturday, October 18 at 2 p.m
Opening Night: Saturday, October 18 at 7:30 p.m.
Post-Show Symposium Performances: Tuesday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, October 25 and November 11 at 2 p.m.
Know the Show: Thursday, October 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Closing Performance: Sunday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesdays (7:30 p.m.): October 21, 28, November 4
Wednesdays (7:30 p.m.): October 15, 22, 29, November 5
Thursdays (8 p.m.): October 16, 23, 30, November 6
Fridays (8 p.m.): October 17, 24, 31, November 7
Saturdays (2 p.m.): October 18, 25, November 1, 8
Saturdays: October 18 (7:30 pm), October 25, November 1, 8 (8 p.m.)
Sundays (2 p.m.): October 19, 26, November 2, 9
Sundays (7:30 p.m.): October 19, 26, November 2, 9