Court's King Henry IV productions Numerous special events to accompany production Court Theatre will present the premiere of King Henry IV: The Shadow of Succession, a new adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts I & II, beginning with a press opening at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 15. Preview performances begin Friday, Jan. 5, and run through Sunday, Jan. 14.
The drama, adapted by Court Theatre Artistic Director Charles Newell and Shakespeare scholar David Bevington, the Phyllis Fay Horton Professor in the Humanities, uses only material from Shakespeare's own texts to tell the deeply personal story of Prince Hal's coming of age and his choice between two competing father figures, King Henry IV and Falstaff. Newell directs the show, which will run through Feb. 11.
Several special events are scheduled in conjunction with the presentation of King Henry IV.
_ On Friday, Jan. 12, Bevington will discuss his work in adapting the script for Court Theatre at 12:15 p.m. at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St.
_ On Wednesday, Jan. 17, Bevington will be the first guest leader in a series of post-show discussions at Court. Other discussion leaders in the series are: Jungian analyst Daniel Lindley (Thursday, Jan. 18); visual artist Kerry James Marshall and Ned Mochel, who plays Douglas in King Henry IV and is the show's fight choreographer (Wednesday, Jan. 24); and Gillian Lane-Plescia, who coaches actors on dialect, speech and text interpretation, and Richard Pettengill, director of arts in education at Goodman Theatre (Thursday, Jan. 25). During preview performances, post-show discussions will be held with the cast and director Newell. _ On Friday, Jan. 26, Court Theatre will host a Banner Night, featuring dinner at Grappa restaurant and conversation with the show's artistic staff and actors. Banner Night will begin with dinner at 5:30 p.m. with members of Court's artistic staff. Guests will then be transported to Court Theatre for the 8 p.m. performance of King Henry IV. Banner Night guests will have an opportunity to meet the actors after the show. Tickets are $60 per person, which includes dinner, theater ticket and transportation. Space is limited, and reservations are required. For reservations, call 753-4472.
_ On Friday, Feb. 9, Court will present a symposium on the adaptation and reinterpretation of Shakespeare's plays at 4 p.m. at Court Theatre. Director Newell and guests from the Royal Shakespeare Company will discuss ways in which Shakespeare's texts are adapted and reinterpreted to keep them fresh and vibrant for modern audiences. The symposium is free and open to the public.
Bevington has twice been awarded Guggenheim fellowships. He is the author of several books, including Action Is Eloquence: Shakespeare's Language of Gesture and two separate editions of the Complete Works of Shakespeare, among others. He has also edited individual plays, including Henry IV. He is president of the Shakespeare Association of America and helped found the Renaissance and Medieval Drama Society.
Newell made his debut as Artistic Director of Court Theatre during the 1994-95 season. He directed the Joseph Jefferson Award-winning production of The Triumph of Love during Court's 1993-94 season and was nominated for two Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best Director of a Play for Court's productions of The Misanthrope and Travesties, presented last season.
Performance times for King Henry IV: The Shadow of Succession are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Matinees are scheduled at 3 p.m. on two Saturdays, Feb. 3 and 10.
For ticket prices and more information, see Continuing.