Quisqueya Productions presents a limited showing of a re-imagined version of Shakespeare’s HENRY V. Shakespeare’s definitive parable of war and warriors will directed by Broadway veteran, Mary Lou Rosato, at the legendary American Theatre of Actors – one of the last great theaters of the famed off-off Broadway movement – for a special limited run, February 21 – 24 (Thursday – Saturday @ 7:30 p.m. with special matinees on Saturday & Sunday @ 2:00 p.m. – Invited previews start Feb 18) The ATA is located at 314 W 54th St, New York City. Tickets available at https://www.smarttix.com/Event/hen393. Te event is listed on SHOW-SCORE and OPPLAUD.
Presented in contemporary dress with allusions to period style, Quisqueya Productions hopes to show – in this stunning new production – the duality of mankind; the eternal battle between modern thinking and warlike desires. Producer/performer, Laris Macario, who appears as Henry was quoted as saying “Henry gets caught up in his own legend … as we all do,” Macario has accepted the challenge of playing several of Shakespeare’s men of conviction, who see their missions as a way to justify a place on the throne and, in many respects, come closer to God. Others in his canon are Marc Antony in Julius Caesar and Lucius in Titus Andronicus leading the pack. “In these uncertain times, the story of a valiant soul leading the common man to victory is that much more necessary,” he concluded.
Broadway luminary, Roger Rathburn appears in this production directed by another Broadway notable: Mary Lou Rosato.
The ensemble cast includes, Sylvain Panet-Raymond, Sam Tilles, Julian Evans, Megan Smith, Kaitlyn Farley, Joe Penczak, Jared Kirby, Patrick Hamilton, Yosef Podolski, Diego Tapia, Mark Guerette, Suzanne Kennedy, and co-founder of the company, Tom Kalnas.
We were able to grab Tom during their break-neck schedule of rehearsal, character exploration, fight-choreography and production meetings. Tom was clever but to the point. Here’s out warrior-to-writer chat:
Tell us about yourself as an artist?
I’m from Pittsburgh. I write, sing, act, and improvise. Acting is impulsive. I strive for a simple and believable style. As a writer, I focus on media, marketing, politics, and technology. I write plays about self-branding and online identity.
What drew you to do Shakespeare and especially this play?
I missed Shakespeare. I missed the challenging text and the unbridled satisfaction of performing Shakespeare in a believable way. I’m like those opera singers who love to perform Handel.
As for Henry V – I’m in the mood for a war play. The show raises excellent political questions, morality questions. It’s a complicated, challenging, rewarding production.
In what way is Henry V timely today – also, what lessons can we learn from it?
Henry uses the rhetoric of a wartime leader. As any mainstream American politician knows, delivery is everything. Rhetoric is sacred today, as it was in Shakespeare’s time. In Henry V, an island nation follows a man into France to fight an unnecessary war. But, hey, they’re happy about it. Most of them support the cause. Or at least, they support King Henry’s agenda.
What is the importance of Shakespeare in terms of being presented in the indie theater scene?
You don’t need a college education to appreciate Shakespeare. You don’t need a ton of money. You need good actors and a good stage.
What’s next for you and your company?
Ask Laris! He’s the one with big ideas.