Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Apr 26th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

The History of Henry

ae_henryhail the king The young Prince Hal (Erik Heger), heir to the throne, spends his time surrounded by friends, women, and pleasure while war rages in the Kingdom in Shakespeare Santa Cruz's 2011 production of "Henry IV, Part One." Photo courtesy Shakespeare Santa Cruz.Shakespeare Santa Cruz closes its summer season with a production of ‘Henry IV, Part I’
Shakespeare Santa Cruz Artistic Director Marco Barricelli and dramaturg Michael Warren can be found in a darkly lit office on the UC Santa Cruz campus conversing about Shakespeare. Both men are more than knowledgeable on the subject; most importantly, however, are their respective skills in transferring this knowledge to the milieu of the stage.

The conversation quickly turns to “Henry IV, Part I,” the final show in this summer’s Shakespeare Santa Cruz season. It’s a play Warren believes to be the most popular play of Shakespeare’s time. When asked why, he points to the fact that Shakespeare’s first folio alludes to the popularity of “Henry IV.”

Barricelli chimes in about the character of Falstaff in “Henry IV.” He explains that the play acquires its popularity from that character.

 

Falstaff plays the fat, comedic father figure and questionable sidekick to Hal, the son of King Henry IV and future King Henry V of England. Falstaff aids Hal in finding the courage to prove to his father that he, instead of the rebellious Hotspur, should be successor to the throne.“[Falstaff] is enormously compelling. I find him at once funny and pathetic, heartbreaking, joyous, and dangerous. He encompasses it all,” Barricelli says. He adds of Hal, “One has to embrace the ambiguousness in that character; it's a much more textured character. There are no easy answers for [Hal].”

The play, believed to have been written no later than 1597, points to the past to tell a tale of a man that was to become one of the greatest kings of England.  Warren remembers a notable comment of Scott Wentworth, who is directing this year’s adaptation. “Our director, Scott, thinks [Henry IV] sat in the imagination of Elizabethan people the way the Civil War sits in the imaginations of Americans now,” he says.

It is this idea that Warren says drives the history plays, as he believes it to be one of the links between “Henry IV” and “The Three Musketeers.” Warren illustrates: “You think of Shakespeare in 1596 looking back at the events of 1404. Then you have us looking at Dumas' work in the 1800s and when he's looking back at the 1640s. You get the present history looking back at the older history and doing something with that.”

For Barricelli, “Henry IV, Part I” is a step forward for the 30th anniversary of SSC. “From what I've been watching, it's going to be a very dynamic production,” Barricelli says. “It's joyful for me to sit there and watch the complexities, especially in these actors’ hands who are so good. It's a real privilege to be a witness to this kind of theater.”

 


"Henry IV, Part I” opened Aug. 2 at the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen at Shakespeare Santa Cruz on the UCSC campus. For more information, visit shakespearesantacruz.org or call 459-2159. Tickets are $14-$20.
Photo caption: hail the king The young Prince Hal (Erik Heger), heir to the throne, spends his time surrounded by friends, women, and pleasure while war rages in the Kingdom in Shakespeare Santa Cruz's 2011 production of "Henry IV, Part One."  Photo courtesy Shakespeare Santa Cruz.

 

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise