This work bridges four Shakespeare plays in one four-hour mega-text. 1599 is the seminal year in Shakespeare's life when he wrote Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and the first draft of Hamlet. When seen together, these plays form a theatrical tetralogy roiling with themes of isolation, power, usurpation, marriage, and death — all told from the point of view of a constantly evolving hero, who is played by four actors. The narrative of 1599 Project (adapted from its source texts by director Jim Niesen) focuses on each of the four Shakespeare plays' protagonists: Henry V, Brutus, Rosalind, and Hamlet). During this mythic journey, the hero triumphs as Henry V, is swept up in cynicism as Brutus, finds respite as Rosalind, and spirals into a chaotic demise as Hamlet.
Each of the four plays moves around the Irondale Center's space, capturing a different setting particular to each narrative. A company of seven, including members of Irondale's permanent acting ensemble, play more than 70 roles.
Note: The total runtime of 1599 Project is four hours, including a 20-minute dinner break. Audience members may prepurchase boxed dinners online.