The Queens Players, who work out of the Secret Theatre of Long Island City, on the heels of their critically acclaimed production of As You Like It (which received not one, but two rave reviews from BlogCritics) hope to keep their hot streak alive with their upcoming revival of William Shakespeare’s much loved historical drama Henry V, which opens this Wednesday.
From the press release:
When the French reject [Henry's] claim, Henry sets off to invade France and win the crown. But he faces daunting odds—an army unprepared for war, a people skeptical of his abilities, and the well-trained and large French forces... In The Queens Players production of Henry V, director Rich Ferraioli uses Shakespeare's acknowledgment [by the Chorus in the Prologue] of the inescapable artificiality of theater to examine the idea [that] people are all actors playing roles—none more so than Henry, who must convince the world that he is a king worthy of his throne.
Mr. Ferraioli, who lives in Long Island City, is a graduate of Hofstra University, where he helped mold and create the university's Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in directing. In 2008, he became a graduate of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab.
For over three years now, he has been working with The Queens Players and has directed such diverse works as The Spanish Tragedie, Lysistrata, and Hamlet. Most recently, Mr. Ferraioli helmed Jay Prasad's original work Daily Sounds for the NYC Fringe Festival, which had its debut at the Cherry Pit Theatre.
Although very busy in bringing Henry V to life, Mr. Ferraioli was gracious enough to take a few minutes to answer some questions for Blogcritics.
Could you give us a short synopsis of the play and what you hope audiences will get from it?
Shakespeare's Henry V is one of his most well known "history plays." It focuses on the reign of Henry V who we have seen grow up and mature in Henry IV Part I & II.
The play opens at a time where Henry stakes claim to France based on his belief in an ancient Salic law. It chronicles the battles of Harfleur and eventually the winning battle of Agincourt. We see through the eyes of Shakespeare's great narrator, Chorus, how Henry struggles through the decisions that must be made during these times and the many different "faces" of war.