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Sweet Tea Shakespeare launches 2022 with two of William Shakespeare’s most storied plays in Raleigh NC & Streaming Online

Shakespeare Raleigh | Live Events in Raleigh | Live Music | Downtown Raleigh NC

Visit our Facebook Page for an official announcement.

Richard II and Henry IV, Part One are our next plays Raleigh and online, slated for this January, and made available in Fayetteville and worldwide via streaming by the final weekend of performances.

A frivolous king. A reluctant prince. A country on the verge of collapse. The first two plays in Shakespeare’s history cycle chronicle civil wars and the rise and fall of kings. After a faction of ambitious noblemen overthrow the young King Richard II, England is plunged into chaos and uncertainty. When the dust settles, there may be a new ruler…but at what cost?

Featuring hallmark Shakespeare characters from Sir John Falstaff to Prince Hal, and performed in repertory by a single company of actors, this first half of Shakespeare’s history tetralogy is an epic tale of fathers and sons, loyalty and leadership, politics and power. It is the story of ordinary people weathering the winds of change in a fledgling nation. And it is a visceral reminder that history isn’t past; it’s not even history at all.

Cast for these play in Raleigh includes Brook North as Richard II, Wade Newhouse as Bolingbroke/Henry IV, Laura J. Parker as Hal, Tyler Gregory as Falstaff, and a cast playing over two dozen hallmark characters  with actors including Andrew Daniels, Bryson Hoff, Dustin Britt, George Jack, Lilly Mills, Mia Self, Mia Sgambellone, Ris Harp. The scripts are adapted from William Shakespeare by Claire F. Martin. Stage Manager is Andrew Daniels. Assistant Director is Nathalie Tondeur. Costumer is Lizzy Andrews.

More on Richard II

To look at the play in terms of its original context: Richard II is one of Shakespeare’s history plays, and was written for a king who had come to power by surprising everyone. King Henry IV faced overwhelming odds when he became king; many noblemen remained loyal to Richard even though he had been imprisoned and stripped of his crown. To win their support and keep them from rebelling, Henry IV had to be a different kind of king.

Interestingly, Shakespeare’s play was staged for the first time after Henry IV had died – and it was a great success. It’s possible that the play was seen as a way of celebrating the new dynasty, and of reminding people of the dangers of rebelling against the king.

In terms of its thematic concerns, the play is about the relationship between a king and his subjects. It asks the question: what is a good king? And it provides no easy answer. On the one hand, Richard is seen as a tyrant who abuses his power; on the other hand, Henry IV is a usurper who came to power by force.

More on Henry IV, Part One

King Henry IV is not yet secure on his throne, and must fight off rebellions led by Henry Percy (the Earl of Northumberland) and Owen Glendower.

Henry’s son, Hal, is heir apparent to the English throne, but spends his time carousing with the raucous and drunken knight, Sir John Falstaff, and his friends. Henry IV feels that it is unseemly for the heir apparent to revel with a group of rowdy commoners, and Henry warns Falstaff not to corrupt Hal.

A story of fathers and sons, civil brawls in house and in country, this play vibrates with anxiety, joy, and hope for the future.

Henry IV, Part 1 is the second play in Shakespeare’s tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. The play spans only the last two years of Henry’s life, from the Battle of Shrewsbury (1403) to the Battle of Gaultree Forest (1405).


Stir up Tickets here.

Henriad Plays in Raleigh Performance Dates

PLEASE NOTE: If you’re seeing both plays in Raleigh, we recommend seeing Richard II *first* as its events precede those of Henry IV.

STREAMING INFO: Performances will stream on-demand by the final weekend of performances. Grab a ticket any time and a link will be sent when available

Important Update: We now open 1/20/22. Visit our Facebook Page for an official announcement.


  January 20, Henry IV, Part One (Thursday 7:30 pm; 7pm preshow)

  January 21, Richard II (Friday 7:30 pm; 7pm preshow)

  January 22, Henry IV, Part One (Saturday 7:30 pm; 7:00pm preshow)

  January 23, Richard II (Sunday 2:00 pm; 1:30pm preshow)

  January 27, Richard II (Thursday 7:30 pm; 7:00pm preshow)

  January 28, Henry IV, Part One (Friday 7:30 pm; 7:00pm preshow)

  January 29, Richard II (Saturday 7:30pm; 7:00pm preshow)

  January 30, Henry IV, Part One (Sunday 2:00 pm; 1:30pm preshow)

Venue: William Peace University

General Admission: $20 ADVANCE | $25 AT THE DOOR

Seniors/Military: $18 ADVANCE | $25 AT THE DOOR

Students: $10 ADVANCE | $25 AT THE DOOR

*Become a Monthly Sustainer for included tickets, tuition, special advance ticket rates and complimentary ticket exchanges for all plays in Raleigh and online

Director: Aaron Alderman

Music Directors: Aaron Alderman, Mia Sgambellone 

About Sweet Tea Shakespeare

Sweet Tea Shakespeare gathers diverse communities around a common table to delight in the magic of story, song, and stagecraft.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare is a not-for-profit theatre and music company, community, and training ground inspired by Shakespeare and the early modern period in spirit and operation. Sweet Tea Shakespeare provides an interactive play-going experience with live music prior to every show. Most shows feature an array of snacking and drinking options.

We produce plays in Raleigh | Fayetteville | Sanford | regionally in NC | online

If you would like more information about this event, please call (910) 420-4383 or email

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