Cincinnati Shakespeare’s Games of Thrones Continues with HENRY VI: The War of the Roses, Part 1

Brian Isaac Phillips directs the next installment in CSC’s 5 year, 8 play history cycle

CSC_Henry VI promo

Darnelle Pierre Benjamin as Henry VI. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

CINCINNATI, Dec. 23, 2015— Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues its season and multi-year history cycle with HENRY VI: The War of the Roses, Part 1 by William Shakespeare.  This production is directed by CSC Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips.  This production features Cincinnati Shakespeare’s Resident Ensemble members including Darnell Pierre Benjamin at King Henry VI.  The History Cycle sponsor is Osborn, Rohs, Williams & Donohoe, LLC.  The costume design sponsors are Vantiv and Dave Herche & Wendy Thursby.

Shakespeare’s game of thrones continues with this first installment of the Henry VI trilogy. King Henry V, one of England’s most beloved monarchs, brought unity and peace to his fractious country and victory over the rival nation of France. But when Henry’s untimely death leaves his infant son to inherit the crown, the country falls back into chaos as rival families of York and Lancaster seek to seize the throne for themselves. Featuring some of history’s most controversial characters, including Joan of Arc, this first installment in the epic War of the Roses trilogy sets the stage for the exciting conclusion soon to come.

Darnell Pierre Benjamin, a sixth season resident ensemble member of CSC, will be playing King Henry VI in this production.  “I hold a great deal of responsibility in my hands,” says Darnell, “I am a Black male from St. Martinville, LA; and, despite how much I’ve always fixated my interests on the classics, I never thought that I’d have the honor of representing one of Shakespeare’s history kings.”  Darnell has appeared on CSC’s stage many times to to critical acclaim including as Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Aaron in “Titus Andronicus”, and Valentine in “The Two Gentleman of Verona.” Darnell says he “hope(s) to open people’s minds and hearts to seeing the core of this story as it is: A young man coming into his own as he learns that there are forces, both good and bad, that can alter his perception of himself; but, if he holds fast onto who he is and who he is becoming, regardless of what the outcome will be, he will maintain leadership of his truest self.”

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is only the 2nd theater company in the United States to present Shakespeare’s 8 play history cycle in chronological order.  The 2013 production of “Richard II” began this multi-season history cycle at Cincinnati Shakespeare and was followed by 2014’s “Henry IV: Part 1 & 2” and 2015’s “Henry V” and now with 2016’s “Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 1”.  The cycle will conclude with “Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Part 2” and “Richard III”.

Performances of HENRY VI: The War of the Roses, Part 1 are scheduled from January 22- February 13, 2016 on Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm as well as on Saturday Feb. 13 at 2pm. There is no performance on Sunday Jan. 24.  Preview performances are on Wednesday Jan. 20 and Thursday Jan. 21 at 7:30pm and tickets are $25.

The theater is located at 719 Race Street, downtown Cincinnati, two blocks west of the Aronoff Center.  Single ticket prices range from $22-$35 on Thursdays and Sundays and from $26-$39 on Fridays and Saturdays.  Previews are $25.  If available, $14 student rush tickets may be purchased 30 minutes before a show with a valid student ID.  This production is a part of this season’s subscription package. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted.  Ticketing fees may apply.  Discounts are available for students, seniors and groups as well as AAA members.  To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at


About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for audiences of all ages.  Located in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, CSC produces a dozen mainstage productions each season.  The repertoire is made up of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of the Theater Communications Group and the Shakespeare Theater Association.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reached nearly 34,000 young people and underserved community members last season by taking Shakespeare into schools, parks, community centers and by hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions at its home on Race Street.  In 2014, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the classics!

About the 2015-2016 Season:
This season is generously sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation.  Cincinnati Shakespeare Company receives operating support from The Ohio Arts Council, the Shubert Foundation and is supported, in part, by the generosity of thousands of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave.  The season design sponsor is Mark & Sue Ann Painter.  The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program/organization with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. Production dates and information on the season are available online at

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