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Guthrie Theater to stage trio of Shakespeare plays for first time in 30 years

It's been 30 years since the theater first staged Shakespeare's History Cycle.
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The Guthrie Theater has announced that it will be bringing back Shakespeare's History Cycle for the first time in 30 years during its 2020-21 season.

While the Minneapolis theater hasn't released its full program for the upcoming season, it did reveal on Tuesday that it will be staging the Bard's Richard II, Henry IV and Henry V as part of it, set in 1300s and 1400s England.

The Wurtele Thrust Stage will host all three productions, with Parts 1 and 2 of Henry IV being performed as a single play.

It marks the first time in more than 20 years that the Guthrie has staged rotating repertory, giving theater goers a chance to view all productions in a single season, or even a single weekend. 

It will mark the 30th anniversary of the last time the Guthrie staged Shakespeare's History Cycle. This time the productions will be led by artistic director Joseph Haj, who also performed in the Guthrie’s acting company for Shakespeare’s History Cycle 30 years ago.

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Henry V, describing the events before and after the Battle of Agincourt, is the best known of Shakespeare's History Cycle, featuring lines such as: "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more," and "We few, we happy few, we band of brothers."

"It is a thrill to announce that we will mount a theatrical undertaking as demanding as the cycle of Shakespeare’s history plays, in rotating repertory, in our next season," said Haj in Tuesday's announcement.

"This epic cycle can be produced by so few theaters, the Guthrie being one of them, and we are both humbled and proud of the role the Guthrie plays in the national theater landscape to bring these massive works, rarely seen together, forth to modern audiences."

The full Guthrie season will be announced in March. 

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