The first edition of Henry VI, Part 2 was printed in 1594 as “The firste parte of the Contention of the two famous houses of York and Lancaster.”
Nearly 430 years later, Shakespeare & Company has given the title a modern abbreviation as it explores themes of royalty that remain timeless: strategic marriages, political treachery, religious unrest, and a measure of “comic sport –” particularly in the arena of law.
Commonly regarded as the strongest of the Henry VI trilogy, The Contention centers on the War of the Roses, a murder plot, and a rebellion that widens the divide between two houses.
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.