The Dallas Theater Center released the full cast of its season-opener, artistic director Kevin Moriarty’s condensed version of William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, pts 1 and 2 — and the list of actors confirms what has been known in the local acting community for several weeks now. In addition to bringing in former Dallas favorite and DTC stalwart Randy Moore (bringing him back from Denver, where’s been since the mid-’90s), Moriarty has also brought back Kurt Rhoads to play the title role. Rhoads and his wife Nance Williamson regularly performed at the DTC in the ’80s and ’90s — before going on to become stalwarts of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in New York.
This means that featured in Henry IV will essentially be representatives from all three of the Dallas Theater Center’s historic acting companies: founder Paul Baker’s in the ’60s and ’70s (when Randy Moore started), artistic directors Adrian Hall and Ken Bryant’s in the ’80s and ’90s (Kurt Rhoads) and, now, Kevin Moriarty’s — or, to give the ensemble its full title, the Brierley Resident Acting Company.
Put another way, the skinny Mr. Moore will be playing the obese John Falstaff — and will now have acted under every single Dallas Theater Center artistic director.,
Six members of Moriarty’s current company will take on various warring noblemen and London low-lifes (Hassan El-Amin, Chamblee Ferguson, Matthew Gray, Cedric Neal, Abbey Seigworth, Christie Vela). Filling out the cast will also be young actors from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Booker T. Washington Arts Magnet — including Chamblee Ferguson’s son, Alexander.
In the photo, Mr. Moore is in the blue shirt seated in the middle of the photo with Mr. Rhoads in white and blue to the right of him. Mr. Ferguson stands behind Mr. Rhoads.
The release follows:
DALLAS THEATER CENTER
by William Shakespeare
directed by Kevin Moriarty
Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre • AT&T Performing Arts Center • 2400 Flora Street
Previews: Sept. 11-16 • Opening Night: Friday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m. • Full Run: Sept. 11-Oct. 10
Tickets: 214-880-0202 or www.dallastheatercenter.org
DALLAS (August 25, 2010) – Dallas Theater Center proudly presents William Shakespeare’s Henry IV, directed by DTC’s artistic director Kevin Moriarty and starring long-time Dallas favorites Randy Moore and Kurt Rhoads, Sept. 11-Oct. 10 at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
On the heels of its acclaimed, record-setting production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, DTC kicks off the 2010-2011 season with another Shakespeare masterpiece. Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty has condensed both parts – Henry IV: Part One and Henry IV: Part Two – into a three act, two-and-a-half hour-long epic theatrical event.
“In Shakespeare’s lifetime, Henry IV was his most popular play with audiences, who flocked to its breathtaking mix of raucous comedy, thrilling battles, and heart-wrenching emotion,” says Moriarty. “Featuring Shakespeare’s beloved and most vivid comic character, the drunk, life-affirming, obese Sir John Falstaff, Henry IV will allow DTC to bring the Wyly Theatre to life with a cast of 22 actors, a large, physically expansive set, period costumes, sword-fighting, bawdy comedy, and youthful energy.”
Leading the cast of 22 is the inimitable Randy Moore in the hysterically funny role of Sir John Falstaff. Long-time DTC favorite, Moore was a DTC company member for more than 30 years, and is the only actor to have worked under every DTC artistic director.
“This production allows me to complete the cycle of working for every DTC artistic director and in every DTC venue in the theater’s history. The added benefit, of course, is getting to play Falstaff – a role I never thought I’d play. I am grateful for the opportunity to do this in Dallas, which is where my career began.
Kurt Rhoads, who was a DTC company member in the 1980’s and 90’s, also returns to Dallas for the first time in more than a decade to play the title role, King Henry IV. Stephen Walters, whose work includes The Beauty Plays at DTC and Friday Night Lights on television, plays the role of the wild Prince Hal.
The large cast also includes members of DTC’s Brierley Resident Acting Company, local professional actors, and students from SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and the Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts: Regan Adair (Vernon), Graham Dudley (Peto), Hassan El-Amin (Earl of Northumberland), Ricco Fajardo (Prince John of Lancaster), Alexander Ferguson (Prince Thomas of Clarence), Chamblee Ferguson (Earl of Westmoreland), Micah Figueroa (Prince Humphrey of Gloucester), Matthew Gray (Earl of Worcester), Dexter Hostetter (Pistol), Cliff Miller (Ned Poins), Cedric Neal (Earl of Warwick), Sean O’Connor (Lord Hastings), Beethovan Oden (Sir Walter Blunt), John Taylor Phillips (Owen Glendower), Bryan Pitts (Earl of Douglas), Abbey Siegworth (Lady Percy, Doll Tearsheet), Teddy Spencer (Bardolph), Paul Stuart (Hotspur), and Christie Vela (Mistress Quickly).
The production will build upon the Wyly Theater’s uniquely flexible space. “Unlike a traditional theater space, the Wyly Theatre is a transformative, reconfigurable space,” explains Moriarty. “For this production, the audience will be seated on all sides of the action, and the play will take place in the center of the space and around the outside of the seating area. This will allow the audience to be fully immersed in the comedy of the tavern scenes, the energy of the battlefield scenes, and the intimacy of the father-son conflict that is at the heart of the play.”
The acclaimed design team of DTC veterans includes set designer John Coyne (Pride and Prejudice), costume designer Jennifer Ables(DTC Costume Shop Manager), lighting designer Jeff Croiter (It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Superman), and Broken Chord Collection (The Good Negro).
Though Moriarty sees many resonances for the play with today’s modern world, the production will be set in the early 15th-century, its original historical time period. “Unlike A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which we costumed in contemporary clothing, with Henry IV we’re keeping the action based in its period,” Moriarty explains. “We think this will allow the audience to best follow the twists and turns of the play’s fast-paced plot, while also allowing the audience to discover the contemporary relevance of the play’s ideas, which are centered around a generational conflict between a father and his party-boy son, a nation beset by civil war, and the challenges of creating a society that is both just and humane.” To further engage audiences with these themes, audiences will be invited to participate in a 15-minute Dr. Pepper/Snapple Stay Late conversation with members of the cast after each performance.
All performances of Henry IV will be held in the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, located at 2400 Flora St., where it runs Sept. 11-Oct. 10. Preview performances are Sept. 11-16. Opening night is Friday, Sept. 17, at 8 p.m. Performance times are Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.; and select Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $15-$85 and are available by calling the box office at 214-880-0202 or by visiting www.dallastheatercenter.org.
Henry IV is part of Shakespeare for a New Generation, a national initiative sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest.