The Acting Company Presents ‘Henry V’ and ‘The Spy’ at Center for the Arts

Posted: April 22, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Mason Center for the Arts audiences have been fortunate to experience a number of The Acting Company productions over the years. Now, this nationally known touring company brings two exciting theatrical productions of classic war stories to Fairfax.

The company will perform Shakespeare’s history play of one of the greatest English warrior kings, “Henry V,” on Saturday, April 25, at 8 p.m., and the world premiere of “The Spy,” an adaptation of James Fenimore Cooper’s Revolutionary-era novel, on Sunday, April 26, at 4 p.m.

Shakespeare’s “Henry V” is a rousing, fascinating story of the power of courage and the price of glory. The young, ambitious British monarch inherits a troubled crown and, seeking to secure his position at home, launches a hasty invasion of France to divert his country’s attention.

Henry V image

This classic epic follows Henry and his men through the brutality of war as they confront their own destinies. Directed by Davis McCallum and co-produced with the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis, the play expertly balances the thrilling heroics of battle with the painful and complex reactions of those who fought it. Matthew Amendt portrays King Henry V.

Next, the company presents the world premiere of “The Spy.” Cooper, America’s first successful novelist, does what few others ever have – present both sides of a fateful historic conflict. In this riveting adaptation by noted playwright Jeffrey Hatcher, the protagonist is a mysterious peddler wrongly suspected of being a spy for the British, but who is, in fact, spying for General Washington. This thrilling production is directed by John Miller-Stephany, associate artistic director of Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theater.

The Acting Company’s work is guided by its mission of touring the United States, commissioning new work, rediscovering classics, providing opportunities for gifted young actors and making theater accessible to all.

Founded in 1972 by John Houseman and current Producing Director Margot Harley with members of the first graduating class of Juilliard’s Drama Division, The Acting Company has performed more than 100 productions for more than 2 million people in 48 states and nine foreign countries. The company has also given a generation of actors the opportunity to master their craft.

A discussion, free to ticket holders, will begin 45 minutes prior to each performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III.

This tour engagement of The Acting Company is funded through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Mid Atlantic Tours program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.

The Center for the Arts recognizes the generous support of PNC and the PNC Foundation as sponsors of the 2008-09 Great Performances at Mason season.

Tickets are $36, $28 and $18. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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