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Once More Into, Not Unto, The Breach

The ArtsCenter

“O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention, a kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene!”

That grand phrase introduces William Shakespeare’s war saga: Henry V. The verse instills raw patriotism but at the cost of bloody and brutal conflict. And that is one of the main themes behind a new play called Into the Breach.

The work is based on a true story of students in Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon who were rehearsing a production of Henry V in 1913 before they were called to fight in World War I.

Into The Breach opens Friday at 8:00 p.m. at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro, and it is the first of a three-part series marking the 100th anniversary of the War to End All Wars.

Host Frank Stasio talks with playwright Ian Bowater, ArtsCenter director Jeri Lynn Schulke, and actors Jeb Brinkley, David Hudson and Laurel Ullman.

In the play, Nurse Claire Ailey and First Lieutenant Duncan McPhail talk about reviving the production of Henry V for injured soldiers. Listen as Claire, played by Laurel Ullman, and McPhail, played by David Hudson, talk about the production. Claire has just tended to a man who is experiencing shell shock.

Laurel Ullman and David Hudson perform a scene from "Into the Breach"

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Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.