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Behind the Curtain at Shakespeare & Company
Free Talk #4 Why Henry VI, Why Part 2?
Saturday, April 1, 2023 at 10:30AM

Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
70 Kemble Street
Lenox, MA 01240

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.