Following a devastating civil war in a near future western state, the curtain rises on Key City Public Theatre’s fast paced, intriguing, and starkly relevant production of Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part I.

The second play of Shakespeare’s tetralogy, the Henriad, composing of Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and II, and Henry V, Henry IV Part I was first performed in 1597 and examined England’s troubled 15th century, however, the questions the play raises are timeless, and fit in the modern political climate just as well as the era of regal usurpers. Who has the right to rule? What makes a good leader, and how should they behave while in office? How should we raise our children? How do we live up the expectations of our parents?

Directed by Duncan Frost, Henry IV features roles for myriads, which creates room for cast loaded with KCPT mainstays. Emily Huntingford as Prince Hal, last seen on stage in 2016’s Shakespeare in the Park production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona; David Natale as the titular Henry IV, calling to mind his previous regal role as King Oberon in 2015’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; and Anthony Phillips and Maggie Jo Bulkley return as Harry “Hotspur” Percy and Lady Percy, respectively, demonstrating once again the stellar chemistry that saw them play hot and cold lovers in 2016’s critically acclaimed production of 4,000 Miles. Dylan Carter is Vernon and Poins. Danny Willis is Mortimer, while Ciara Halligan is Lady Mortimer. Caleb Lumbard is Douglas. Tom Challinor is Worcester. Sam Cavallaro is Bardolph and Sir Walter Blunt. Sharon Wenzler is Glendower.  Jim Guthrie, the architect of many of KCPT’s amazing sets, including the award winning musical Spirit of the Yule, and the runaway hit musical Murder Ballad, is Westmoreland. Lawrie Driscoll returns to his comedic roots as Falstaff, after a grim role as Morten Kill in the 2017 season opening production of An Enemy of the People. In addition, many local youths will be performing in ensemble roles, Alejandro Montanez, Dare Bailey, Jack Slater, and Trillium Burbank all return. Henry IV promises familiar faces in new roles in this romp of a history, and behind the scenes, new faces, as Henry IV marks the first project of KCPT’s two new apprentices, Rachel Salzman and Brendan Chambers.

Henry IV Part I brings rebellious drama and timely lessons to Chetzemoka Park!


Henry IV Part I opens August 4th at Chetzemoka Park, and will run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 6:00pm through the 27th. All performances are Pay-What-You-Wish at the gate, with advance tickets available online at, or by phone at (360) 385-KCPT for $24. Please bring your own seating.

[photo by Amy Johnson]