Lantern Theater Company, "the city's top presenter of Shakepeare's work" (TheaterMania.com) presents William Shakespeare’s Henry V under the direction of the Lantern’s Artistic Director, Charles McMahon, as part of its record-breaking 19th season. An All-Star Philly cast, including Ben Dibble (Henry V), Krista Apple (Chorus), Jake Blouch (Dauphine/Pistol/Ensemble), Mark Cairns (Exeter/Williams/Ensemble), David Bardeen (Canterbury/Ensemble), K.O. DelMarcelle (Katherine/Ensemble) Matt Tallman (Bedford/Nym/Orleans/Ensemble). In addition, native Londoner Mal Whyte will star as Fluellen/Ensemble, making both his Lantern and American Shakespeare début.
I had the privilege to speak to Krista Apple, who makes her Lantern début with her performance of the Chorus.
"My character is written into the play to serve as a mediary between the audience and the story," Apple explains. "I'm also there to remind the audience that they're in a theatre, and that our storytelling relies absolutely on the power of imagination. I show up at the beginning of every act to say, essentially, 'Okay, folks, now we can't show you the big sea battle that happened next in the story... so imagine it!'"
She continues: "Back when the play was written, of course, there were no movies, no special effects, no CGI. The only option was to imagine certain things – huge battles, hundreds of men on horseback, an entire kingdom, a castle hall, etc. But now my character, the Chorus, gets to inspire a room full of people who are choosing to imagine. Who go to the theatre because sometimes the act of imagining something, of seeing it in your mind’s eye, is more powerful than seeing somebody else’s rendition of it."
Apple, who moved to Philadelphia to complete her MFA at Temple (Acting), has worked consistently throughout the city since her graduation.
"I couldn’t have this career anywhere else in the country. Period. There are theatre communities in other cities that are just as passionate and diverse, but very few that are as thriving, as large AND as accessible as Philadelphia’s is."
Apple admits that she doesn't know what makes the combination so perfect but praises "the generosity of Philadelphia’s philanthropic community, which makes artmaking possible at a lot of levels, along with the galvanizing force of artistic visionaries like Blanka Zizka at the Wilma Theatre and the artists at Pig Iron, who keep Philadelphia ‘on the map’ nationally and internationally. But the sheer number of artists in this town – and the absolute enthusiasm of audiences and supporters – is pretty awe-inspiring."
See Apple perform the role of Chorus in Lantern Theater's production of HENRY V running now until April 14, 600 years after Henry ascended to the throne in 1413, and will include the popular Scholars: In Conversation series as a companion to the performances. Also, look for Apple's theatre company, the Philadelphia Artists' Collective which she co-founded with her husband, notable Philly actor Dan Hodge, Damon Bonetti, Charlotte Northeast, and Katherine Fritz.
Henry V runs March 14 – April 14, 2013. Tickets are $20 – $38 and are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at 215-829-0395. $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID; cash only. Additional discounts are available for seniors, groups of 10 or more, and current/former members of the U.S. military. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia.