“I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips, straining upon the start.” Henry 5, 3.1

by Anne Flinders, dramaturg

For more than 30,000 students at Brigham Young University, the last class lectures of the semester have been given, the last papers handed in, and the final exams completed. Everyone is settling in for a restful Christmas break. Everyone, that is, but seven young men and women who make up the cast of BYU’s Young Company production of Henry 5.

During finals week, rather than take a test for TMA 401, the cast from that class and some of the staff of Henry 5 met with director Megan Sanborn Jones to read through the script. During the reading such things were discussed as characterizations; meanings of particular words, lines, or segments; historical setting and implications; and music selections.

The cast was given the exciting but daunting task of being completely memorized when they return to classes next January. The requirement assigned by the director is that the cast be “book out of hand”, meaning the members of the cast will not have their scripts available to them when they begin rehearsals next month. Since there will be only four weeks of two to three rehearsals a week, this is a necessary requirement.

During the second half of this meeting, the cast put their scripts aside and got on their feet. Dr. Jones directed them in creating a movement piece that will be used in the play to depict King Henry and his army crossing the English Channel to the war with France. The cast left the rehearsal anxious to put their lines to memory, and excited to return in January to the rehearsal process.

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