The Niles North Theater Department presents William Shakespeare's “Henry V” on May 3 through 5 in the Drama Performance Center at 9800 Lawler Avenue, Skokie. In Shakespeare's earlier works, the title character is depicted as “Prince Harry,” a unruly and fun-loving wastrel, but Niles North's adaptation of “Henry V” is set in the not too distant future where the young monarch is a fun-loving party girl who assumes the throne as Queen H5.
How to keep “Henry V,” which Shakespeare wrote over 400 years ago, current for today's audiences? Director Timothy Ortmann set the play in the year 2020, where the ruler is Queen H5 and she leads an army at the Battle of Agincourt. “Nobody expects much of her,” said Ortmann. “She surprises them. She's quite astute and has been paying attention.” Other than some name changes (Princess Catherine of Valois becomes Jean-Claude in this adaptation) and some changes in pronouns, the play uses Shakespeare's words. It is the actors who had to consider what role gender plays in society and how leaders are perceived.
Showtimes for “Henry V” are 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on May 4 and 5. Tickets are $10 and may be reserved by calling the Box Office at (847) 626-2122. A free community performance will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 3.
The director for “Henry V” is Timothy Ortmann, Tech Director is Annaliisa Ahlman, Costume Designer is Teresa Ripley, Lighting Designer is Michael Rourke, Sound Designer is Will Boersma, Hair Designer is Brian Fallon, Assistant Tech Director is Max Dolinko, Shop Manager is Destiny Hall, Costume Assistants are Linda Room and Anita Scanlon, Assistant Lighting Designer is Alon Stotter, Fight Captain is Dylan Connelley, Stage Manager is Rachel Sepiashvili and Assistant Stage Manager is Danielle Kropveld.
The cast includes:
Royalty: Shannon Rourke as Queen H5; Jonathan Berg-Einhorn as Duke of Clarence, brother to the queen; Teresa Franks as Duke of Bedford, sister to the queen; Joanna Valkin as Duke of Gloucester, sister to the queen; Naveen Kanji as Duke of Exeter, cousin to the queen; and Ryan Loach, Duke of York, cousin to the queen.
Nobility: Alex Hammond as Earl of Westmorland; Eugene Hyun as Earl of Warwick; Camille Paskind as Earl of Salisbury; and Alexandria Monte as Earl of Huntingdon.
The Clergy: Nathan Selinger as Archbishop of Canterbury and Lauryn Schmelzer as Bishop of Ely.
Conspirators: Alexandria Monte as Earl of Cambridge; Maddie Martin as Lord Scrope of Masham; and William Boersma as Sir Thomas Grey.
Friends of Sir John Falstaff: Natalie Aleman as Ancient Pistol; Christopher Khoshaba as Host, formerly Master Quickly, married to Pistol; Sebastijan Torgus as Lieutenant Bardolph; Joanna Vaklin as Corporal Nym; and Hannah Sahyouni as Girl.
Officers in the Queen's Army: Lauryn Schmelzer as Erpingham; Sebastijan Torgus as Gower, an English captain; and Margaret Hensley as Fluellen, a Welsh captain.
Soldiers in the Queen's Army: Kimberly Cortez as Joan Bates, a soldier; Jonathan Berg-Einhorn as Michael Williams, a soldier; and Alex Hammond as Herald.
Royalty: Yiorgos Giannetos as French King, Charles Vi; Carissa Yau as Queen Isabeau; Dylan Connelley as Louis the Dauphin, their son; Ryan Loach as Jean-Claude, their son; and Margaret Hensley as Alice, secretary.
Officers in the French Army: Cathleen Lee as Constable of France; Natalie Aleman as Duke of Burgundy; Sabina Dzelilovic as Duke of Bourbon; Nathan Selinger as Duke of Orléans; Kimberly Cortez as Duke of Berry; Christopher Khoshaba as Lord Rambures; and Sasha Goman as Grandpré.
Noah Zeidman as Montjoy the Herald; Eugene Hyun as Governor of Harfleur; Sabina Dzelilovic as Ambassador to England; Camille Paskind as French soldier, Madame le Fer; Sasha Goman as Messenger; Maddie Martin and Sabina Dzelilovic as Attendants; and Eugene Hyun as Henry IV.