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BEHIND THE CURTAIN: HENRY VI, PART 2: WHY HENRY VI, WHY PART 2?

Apr 1, 2023
10:30AM - 12:00PM

BEHIND THE CURTAIN
Topic: Henry VI, Part 2: Why Henry VI, Why Part 2?

Saturday, April 1 | 10:30am
Jane Iredale Lobby located at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre

In this early play, first printed as “The firste parte of the Contention of the two famous houses of York and Lancaster,” Shakespeare explores themes that will pervade his entire body of work: What are the responsibilities of those in power? How do tensions among rival family members resolve — or remain unresolved? How do women protect themselves and their heirs in a world ruled by men?

This installment of Behind the Curtain will explore how Shakespeare shaped his source material when developing Henry VI, Part II, and untangle the relationships within it. Host Ann Berman will provide an overview of the English monarchy from Edward II — whose numerous heirs quarreled for centuries, providing material for Shakespeare plays and others — through James I, at the throne at the time of Shakespeare’s death.

Shakespeare & Company will present The Contention (Henry VI, Part II) June 17 through July 15.



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Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.

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