On the Core visit to Henry IV

ASP poster for Henry IV

ASP poster for Henry IV

Several Core students traveled to the artsy Fan Pier / Seaport neighborhood this weekend, to take in a performance of Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1. Tickets to the play, which was put up the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, were made available by Prof. Diana Wylie and the Distinguished Teaching Professorship fund for humanities programming.

According to all reports, it was a show to remember. Here is what two of the attendees had to say:

Robert Walsh is a phenomenal fight director. The fight choreography, while bordering on the abstract from time to time, is nonetheless a wonderful way of depicting a difficult fight to stage. In large fights like these, staging and direction is notoriously difficult. The way a fight like this would be staged in Hollywood requires individual choreography on the scale of hundreds of people. Unfortunately in live theater, hundreds of extras are not always readily at hand. In short, the ASP Henry IV more than adequately represents the din of a huge battle by creating an engrossing atmosphere.

– James Melo, Core ’11, CAS ’13. James’ academic interests – he is a history major – focus narrowly on medieval warfare and the fine art of making death look believable on stage. He is the assistant director of the calliope project’s production of Cyrano de Bergerac, as well as its violence coordinator, making sure all stage combat is both captivating and safe.

I found the staging very energetic. The set makes excellent use of lighting and spacing. The way the audience was split gave the show a frame device that would excuse any overwrought acting or abstract staging. That being said, the angles made it difficult when large sections of scenes were not visible, most importantly the actor’s faces. However, during group scenes, there was always at least one person that could be seen, which was definitely a plus. Bill Barclay had a fantastic stage presence and truly brought his own passion into the character of Prince Hal. And thank you Allyn Burrows for showing us that a passionate Hotspur need not be a man in the prime of his youth.

– Elizabeth Ramirez, Core ’10, CAS ’12. Elizabeth is majoring in English, and has a fondness for music and Shakespeare. A Core alumna, she is impresario for the calliope project, and director for their upcoming spring production of Cyrano.

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