Like a King: Casting Shakespeare’s Histories for Citizens and Subjects is a dual examination of Shakespeare’s history plays in their early modern production contexts and of the ways the histories can speak directly to twenty-first-century American political and social concerns. Author and production director Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy examines how strategic doubled and re-gendered casting can animate the underlying questions of Richard II, Henry V, and King John in vital and immediate ways for American audiences. Examining evidence from both the archive and the rehearsal room, Gutierrez-Dennehy explores the texts as repositories for dialogues about power, gender, identity, nationhood, and leadership. With the American political system as its backdrop, Like a King argues that productions of Shakespeare’s histories can interrogate and explore the relationships between citizens, subjects, and their leaders.
Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy is assistant professor of theatre history and performance at Northern Arizona University, and the co-artistic director of the 7 Towers Theatre Company.
Introduction: Shakespeare’s Histories and American Political Discourse
Chapter One: Doubling the Double: Casting Ambiguity in Richard II
Chapter Two: One Mistress and No Master—Re-Gendering Henry V
Chapter Three: King John in the Trump Era: Casting Gender, Identity, and Violence
Conclusion: Casting the Future