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Henry V
Henry V: The Mother of All War Stories!

October 22, 2014 - November 16, 2014


Directed By: Aaron Cromie

Do you remember your first experience with Shakespeare?  If you went to public or private school, chances are you were probably fairly young, and experienced the works of the Bard alongside classmates, reading one of his plays under the guidance of an English or Literature teacher.

The setting of this season’s innovative and youthful production of Henry V, directed by Aaron Cromie, is a classroom where prep school students are living out the epic battles and complex characters of this play under the tutelage of their teacher during a ‘final exam’.  We follow along with them as the characters evolve and change during Henry’s famed military campaign, which leads them to the play’s legendary portrayal of the Battle of Agincourt, and perhaps find that their connection to this coming-of-age story mirrors our own

Afterall, the character of King Henry V is a young man dealing with the pitfalls and politics of becoming the leader he was destined to be.  Through his struggles, we are reminded that growing up is never easy and that, often, the choices we are forced to make in life can change and challenge us, possibly even having an impact on those we hold dear.

The classroom setting of this new production provides endless creativity in shifting location, character, and tracking the evolution of Henry’s campaign at Agincourt.  This exuberant take on this classic history play sheds new light on the perils, pleasures, and pains of fulfilling one’s destiny.

Henry V is one of Shakespeare’s most famous history plays. It is based on the life of King Henry V of England and centers around events before and after the battle of Agincourt in 1415, during the 100 Years War.

Henry V is the kingly sequel to Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2 where we meet Prince Henry (Hal) as a young and undisciplined man, frequenting bars and thieving with the charming, but dissolute, Falstaff.  

Henry V is the continuation of Hal’s story. The once undisciplined Prince has transformed into an ambitious and charismatic King who has inherited a troubled throne but sets out to conquer France and briefly unites it with England.  

So, Again, we turn our question back to you, our audience.  How did Shakespeare’s work first inspire you?  How did his plays make you feel and resonate with your life?  We’re sure you can recall, and invite you to travel back to that time in life when the simple act of reading a play could transform your outlook and open up new worlds for you to explore.  Come see Henry V and take that journey with us.  We’re ready to take the trip with you!


Where: The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre
Ticket Price: $20-$35. Click here to purchase tickets.

When: October 22nd - November 16th, 2014;

Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:00pm and Sunday Matinees at 2:00pm
Previews: October 22nd & 23rd (Pay What You Will)

Daytime Box Office: 215-496-9722
Evening Box Office: 215-571-4413


There is a "no late seating" policy. If you are late for the performance you will be seated at the discretion of the house manager.


Since opening to a full audience on October 24, Henry V has been reviewed by several members of the press. Here's what they're saying...

"Everything about this show is clever and inventive...The young ensemble features some of the best emerging talents in Philadelphia, who bring a youthful energy, passion, and humor to the characters and their conflicts in Henry's coming-of-age story."
- Deb Miller,

"[Director] Cromie's interpretation adds a clever layer of meaning about discovering the joys of Shakespeare, while also making the Bard's sometimes dense history lesson clear through blackboard, laptop computer, overhead projector and exuberant performances."
- Mark Cofta, Philadelphia Citypaper

"In [The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre's] production, Akeem Davis absolutely nails is.  It's a knockout.  He's a natural."  
- Kathryn Osenlund, Curtain Up Magazine 

"In addition to its fantastic cast and solid production design, [Director] Cromie's interpretation succeeds so well because it inspires precisely what the play-within-a-play is trying to inspire: fun. There are certainly many ways to connect to Shakespeare, but this approach for this play clearly speaks to the characters of the students, and in turn to the audience."
-Jennifer Kramer,