West Windsor, N.J. – When one’s own conscience proves stronger than the strongest political pressures, a high price is bound to be paid. Join PinnWorth Productions at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) Kelsey Theatre for “A Man for All Seasons,” based on the life and times of the British Lord Chancellor Thomas More.
Dates and times for this award-winning historical drama are: Fridays, Jan. 9 and 16 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Jan. 10 and 17 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Jan. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night performance on Jan. 9.
Matters of politics, religion, friendship and loyalty collide as Henry VIII contemplates divorcing his barren first wife, Catherine of Aragon, in order to marry Anne Boleyn and produce an heir to the throne of England. Henry’s loyal chancellor, Sir Thomas More, is a deeply devout Roman Catholic and cannot make peace with the plan, putting him squarely at odds with King Henry and rivals in the court, most notably the formidable Thomas Cromwell. Can More stay true to his beliefs without paying the ultimate price?
Says LouJ Stalsworth, who directs the production, “We live in an age of compromise and revenge, where doing the easy thing is often the choice that’s made instead of doing the right thing. More, a man of morals and principles, refuses easy compromise.”
Adds John Shaken-Kaye, who plays More, “The show chronicles the age-old conflict between duty to the State, as personified by Cromwell, and adherence to personal conscience, as personified by More.”
Stalsworth notes the central role of The Common Man, who appears as narrator, household servant, boatman, innkeeper, juryman and executioner. Through him, the audience becomes part of the story; his refusal to take action that could have changed More’s fate is a point that remains relevant for citizens today.
Stalsworth observes, “This material will make audience members think and maybe reconsider their position in the course of the show. Robert Bolt’s ‘A Man for All Seasons’ is that sort of theater.”
“A Man for All Seasons” was first performed in London in 1960 and later came to Broadway, where it enjoyed critical and commercial success. In addition to several revivals, “A Man for All Seasons” was made into an Academy Award-winning film in 1966. It has been performed by theater companies throughout the country and on television.
The cast stars Julian Azan of Chesterfield as King Henry; John Shaken-Kaye of Huntington Valley, Pa., as Sir Thomas More; and Rupert Hinton of Princeton as More’s nemesis, Thomas Cromwell. Also featured are Alana Caraccio of Doylestown, Pa., as Lady Alice More; Krista Coleman of Somerset as Lady Margaret More; Jeff Dworkin of Somerset as The Common Man; Andrew James Gordon of West Windsor as William Roper; Laura B. Lowrie of East Windsor as Catherine Anger; Stephen Pie of Hamilton as Master Richard Rich; John Pinto of Yardley, Pa., as Signor Chapuys; Barry A. Schreier of Princeton as the Duke of Norfolk; William Walters of Columbus as Cardinal Wolsey; and Russ Weiss of Princeton Junction as Bishop Cranmer.
In addition to Stalsworth, the production team includes set and costume designer Kate Pinner and sound and light designer Robert Terrano. The stage manager is Rachel Piscopo.
Tickets for “A Man for All Seasons” are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and $14 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333 or onlinehere. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Free parking is available next to the theater.
For a print copy of the 2014-15 season brochure, call the Box Office. For the complete events schedule and more at Kelsey Theatre, visit: