Henry V: The 30-Minute Shakespeare

Henry V: The 30-Minute Shakespeare

by William Shakespeare, Nick Newlin (Editor)

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Overview

"A truly fun, emotional, and sometimes magical first experience, usually guided by a sagacious, knowledgeable, and intuitive educator." --Library Journal

From a teacher's perspective, this book was a great way to introduce students to a Shakespeare play they otherwise might never have encountered in high school . . . much more fun working with the adaptation than it might have been if I had tackled the full script. I strongly recommend this book (and the rest of the series) to educators who want to introduce a variety of Shakespeare plays to their students in a limited amount of time. --James Brendlinger, Chairman, Department of Arts and Communications, Lake Lowell High School, Winter Park, FL

This edition of Henry V presents eight scenes, using all actors as Chorus. Included in this riveting cutting are Henry's inspiring "band of brothers" oration to his men, a merry interlude with Bardolph and friends, and an irresistible scene in which Alice teaches English to Katherine and her ladies in waiting. There is also an essay by editor Nick Newlin on how to produce a Shakespeare Play with novice actors, and notes about the original production of this abridgement at the Folger Shakespeare Library's annual Student Shakespeare Festival.

Nicolo Whimsey Press aims to make Shakespeare's plays accessible, performable, and fun for young people, regardless of their experience level.

Through his twenty years of working as a director-in-residence in DC public high schools under the auspices of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Nick Newlin has created thirty-minute edits of Shakespeare's plays, complete with stage directions and character suggestions that can be performed by groups of fifteen to thirty young people.

Performance rights are included with the purchase of play scripts. Unlike most other scripts on the market today, The 30-Minute Shakespeare has no separate charge for public performances, making each volume an exceptional value.

What makes these books extraordinary is author Nick Newlin's breadth of expertise and experience as a performer, teaching artist and scholar. Newlin holds a BA from Harvard University and an MA in Theatre from the University of Maryland. He has performed a stage act for young people as Nicolo Whimsey since 1986 from the high Himalayas to the White House, and since 2006 he has conducted a teaching artist residency with DC Public High School Students with Folger Shakespeare Library.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935550389
Publisher: Nicolo Whimsey Press
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Series: 30-Minute Shakespeare Series
Pages: 70
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Nick Newlin: Nick Newlin has been a performer, writer and arts educator for



international audiences for 30 years. Since 1996, he has conducted an annual



Play Directing residency affiliated with the



Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC.



Nick has a BA from Harvard University with Honors 1982



and an MA in Theater from The University of Maryland



with an emphasis on Play Directing. Mr. Newlin now has 20 plays



in The 30-Minute Shakespeare series, plus



The 30-Minute Shakespeare Anthology: 18 Student Scenes with Monologues.







In 2017 Mr. Newlin collaborated with Emmy Award winning The Simpsons writer



Mike Reiss on a new play "Shakespeare's Worst", which had its world premiere at



Bristol Shakespeare Festival in the UK in 2017. Shakespeare's Worst



played in Summer 2018 at Utah Shakespeare Festival. Summer 2019 Shakespeare's Worst



will be produced by Capital Fringe Festival at Washington DC's Arena Stage.







The Nicolo Whimsey Show has performed at The Smithsonian's Discovery Theatre



where they were honored with Legacy Artist award,



The National Theatre in Washington, DC, and the White House

Date of Death:

2018

Place of Birth:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Place of Death:

Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom

Read an Excerpt

Characters in the Play

The following is a list of characters that appear in this cutting of

Henry V.

Fifteen actors appeared in the original production. The number can

be increased to about thirty or decreased to about eight by having

actors share or double roles.

For the full breakdown of characters, see Sample Program.

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY

BISHOP OF ELY

KING HENRY V: The young, recently crowned king of England

DUKE OF EXETER: Uncle to the king

EARL OF WESTMORELAND: Cousin to the king

AMBASSADOR OF FRANCE

BARDOLPH

PISTOL

NYM

BOY

CAPTAIN FLUELLEN: Officer in the king’s army

KATHERINE of france: Young princess of France

ALICE: A gentlewoman waiting on Katherine

SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM: Soldier in the king’s army

MICHAEL WILLIAMS: Soldier in the king’s army

KING OF FRANCE: King Charles VI

Former companions to Henry, now in his army

Powerful and wealthy

English clergymen

✴✴SCENE 1. (Act I, prologue | Act 1,

Scene I)

London. The king’s palace.

Enter CHOR US, forming a tight circle facing each other. One by

one, chorus members leave the circle, speak their line, and go to

either stage right or stage left. Ultimately, this will form a wide

“V” shape, with chorus members facing the audience.

CHORUS

O, for a muse of fire that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention!

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars, and at his heels,

Leashed in like hounds,

should famine, sword, and

fire crouch for employment.

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

Whose high uprearèd and abutting fronts

(ALL raise arms up)

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.

(ALL bring arms down and out to sides)

Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i’ th’ receiving earth,

For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings.

Exit ALL except bishops of cANTERB URY and ELY .

2 ✴ henry V

CANTERB URY and ELY walk downstage center conspiratorially,

looking around.

Stagehand sets chair/throne upstage center behind the BISHO PS.

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY

The King is full of grace and fair regard.

BISHOP OF ELY

And a true lover of the holy Church.

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY

List his discourse of war, and you shall hear

A fearful battle rendered you in music;

Enter EXETER and WES TMOREL AND from upstage right. They walk

upstage left, conversing, then exit stage left. In passing, they give

a quick glance to ELY and CANTERB URY .

(whispering) I have made an offer to his Majesty—

As touching France—to give a greater sum

Than ever at one time the clergy yet

Did to his predecessors part withal.

The French ambassador is come to give him hearing.



Characters in the Play

The following is a list of characters that appear in this cutting of

Henry V.

Fifteen actors appeared in the original production. The number can

be increased to about thirty or decreased to about eight by having

actors share or double roles.

For the full breakdown of characters, see Sample Program.

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY

BISHOP OF ELY

KING HENRY V: The young, recently crowned king of England

DUKE OF EXETER: Uncle to the king

EARL OF WESTMORELAND: Cousin to the king

AMBASSADOR OF FRANCE

BARDOLPH

PISTOL

NYM

BOY

CAPTAIN FLUELLEN: Officer in the king’s army

KATHERINE of france: Young princess of France

ALICE: A gentlewoman waiting on Katherine

SIR THOMAS ERPINGHAM: Soldier in the king’s army

MICHAEL WILLIAMS: Soldier in the king’s army

KING OF FRANCE: King Charles VI

Former companions to Henry, now in his army

Powerful and wealthy

English clergymen

✴✴SCENE 1. (Act I, prologue | Act 1,

Scene I)

London. The king’s palace.

Enter CHOR US, forming a tight circle facing each other. One by

one, chorus members leave the circle, speak their line, and go to

either stage right or stage left. Ultimately, this will form a wide

“V” shape, with chorus members facing the audience.

CHORUS

O, for a muse of fire that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention!

A kingdom for a stage, princes to act,

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,

Assume the port of Mars, and at his heels,

Leashed in like hounds,

should famine, sword, and

fire crouch for employment.

Suppose within the girdle of these walls

Are now confined two mighty monarchies,

Whose high uprearèd and abutting fronts

(ALL raise arms up)

The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.

(ALL bring arms down and out to sides)

Think, when we talk of horses, that you see them

Printing their proud hoofs i’ th’ receiving earth,

For ’tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings.

Exit ALL except bishops of cANTERB URY and ELY .

2 ✴ henry V

CANTERB URY and ELY walk downstage center conspiratorially,

looking around.

Stagehand sets chair/throne upstage center behind the BISHO PS.

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY

The King is full of grace and fair regard.

BISHOP OF ELY

And a true lover of the holy Church.

BISHOP OF CANTERBURY

List his discourse of war, and you shall hear

A fearful battle rendered you in music;

Enter EXETER and WES TMOREL AND from upstage right. They walk

upstage left, conversing, then exit stage left. In passing, they give

a quick glance to ELY and CANTERB URY .

(whispering) I have made an offer to his Majesty—

As touching France—to give a greater sum

Than ever at one time the clergy yet

Did to his predecessors part withal.

The French ambassador is come to give him hearing.

teachers, for helping a class actively participate in the process of getting

to know a Shakespeare play. For more simple theater games,

Viola Spolin’s Theatre Games for the Classroom is very helpful, as is

one I use frequently, Theatre Games for Young Performers.



✴✴ Performance Notes: Henry V

Scene 1 (Act I, prologue)

The play begins with a military drumbeat played by a Chorus member.

The cast is dressed in simple black, entering from both sides of the

stage and forming a tight group facing into themselves. They chant

in a kind of low rumble, using words that include “war, war,” “I’m

not ready to die,” and “monarch.” This has the effect of introducing

the Chorus as central to the play. Out of that group emerges the first

speaker, who utters the immortal first line: “Oh for a muse of fire that

would ascend the brightest heaven of invention!”

The Chorus stands in a V-shaped line facing front, and each

member recites a line from the speech. It is a striking beginning

to the play and gives each actor an immediate role. The audience

receives multiple voices, timbres, pitches, and line interpretations.

The play is a group effort from the start.

In our production, the actors immediately fell to a common

malady: “upstage creep.” The Folger stage has two pillars on either

side of the stage at about the centerline. I always instruct the actors

to place themselves downstage of the pillars for greater visibility and

presence. However, because they were beginning actors at a one-time

festival performance and we had never rehearsed on that stage, their

tendency was to physically “retreat” from the audience.

Many of you reading this may have already rehearsed on the

same stage where you will perform. In rehearsal, I sometimes set up

chairs to represent the pillars on the Folger stage. If I had addressed

this tendency toward upstage creep and used chairs or other barriers

to keep students further downstage, I might have avoided this

50 ✴ henry V

unfortunate tendency. Often we do not learn from our mistakes until

after the fact!

In my case, having experienced the same issue before, I could have

tried to nip it in the bud earlier in the rehearsal process. Next time!

The Chorus speaks some of the lines to the opening speech as an

ensemble, lifting their arms up together on “Whose high uprearèd

and abutting fronts” and bringing them back down and to the sides

as if parting the seas on “The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder.”

Simple ensemble gestures and tableaux go far in enhancing

Shakespeare’s vivid words. The entire Chorus exits to the same military

drumbeat, nicely framing the scene and reinforcing the military

tone of the play.

In our production, the “upstage creep” carried over into the

second part of the scene. The Bishops of Canterbury and Ely placed

themselves upstage of the throne instead of in front of it, which

affected both visibility and audibility. Especially with young actors,

players should ensure that they are both seen and heard, and directors

must continually stress this key point! Because my actors were

so far upstage, when Exeter and Westmoreland walked by the two

bishops, they walked in front of them instead of behind them, thus

literally upstaging them.

Exeter and Westmoreland should slow their gait and glance with

concealed interest at the two bishops, who should remain silent for

a few seconds to allow for the moment of mystery this scene entails.

Make sure your actors know that their words, gestures, facial expressions,

and movements all advance the plot and create a mood, in this

case one of dramatic tension and secrecy.

In this scene, Canterbury is describing a financial offer the

clergy made to Henry, one he wishes to keep secret from Exeter

and Westmoreland. If the actors are fully aware of these details of

plot and motivation, they will be better armed to tell the tale that

Shakespeare weaves with his words. To this end, the actor playing

Bishop of Canterbury in our production delivered a pitch perfect

“stage whisper.”

Table of Contents

✴✴ table of contents

Preface: No Experience Necessary..................................... vi

Characters in the Play........................................................ vIii

Henry V ........................................................................ 1

Performing Shakespeare................................................... 30

Performance Notes: Henry V.............................................. 49

Set and Prop List.............................................................. 64

Sample Program............................................................... 65

Additional Resources......................................................... 66

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