Christopher Henley

About Christopher Henley

Christopher Henley began acting (1979) and directing (1980) around DC with Source Theatre Company. He was a founding Ensemble Member at WSC Avant Bard (formerly Washington Shakespeare Company); was its Artistic Director for more than 16 years; and continues as its Artistic Director Emeritus and as a member of the Acting Company. Other theatres at which he has worked include SCENA Theatre (founding company member), Longacre Lea Productions, Folger Theatre, The American Century Theater, Quotidian Theatre Company, and Ambassador Theatre, in addition to several companies no longer functioning, such as Cherry Red Productions, Spheres Theatre Company, and Moving Target Theatre.

An actor’s life: Remembering Steve Wilhite

The last of many plays I worked on with Steve Wilhite was Richard II at WSC Avant Bard (then called Washington Shakespeare Company). I played the title role; Steve played Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. After the grueling and demanding abdication scene, I would make my exit through an upstage door. A long line of […]

Jonathan Padget, whose tip located Tricia McCauley, decries systemic failures in DC

Through her work as an actor, as a yoga instructor, as an urban gardener, and as a nutritionist/herbalist, Tricia McCauley had a large network of colleagues and friends.

Film Review: Denzel Washington brings Wilson’s powerful Fences to the screen

A great film version of a great play is a rare thing. More often than not, the alchemy that results in success on stage resists translation to the screen,  and film history is replete with examples of movie stars who scoop up plum stage roles and end up making forgettable flicks. Denzel Washington’s film of […]

TAME./Shrew Part Two: Shrew views and dangerous plays or what’s a theatre for?

Last week, we posted Part One of my talk with three local theatre-makers who have engaged Shakespeare’s troublesome early comedy The Taming of the Shrew. Jonelle Walker’s TAME. runs through December 11th at WSC Avant Bard.

Remembering DC actor/director Richard M. Mancini, whose memorial is this Sunday at Keegan

So many of the benchmarks from my almost forty years working in the small professional theatre scene in Washington, DC were shared with my dear friend Richard Mancini.

A View from the Bridge at The Kennedy Center (review)

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge was an experiment. Miller wanted to take the elements of Greek tragedy and focus them on a protagonist who is not a ruler or a great warrior, but instead is a common man. Ivo van Hove’s award-winning production (three Olivier awards in London, two Tony awards on Broadway) […]

TAME./Shrew: Three women talk about facing the Bard’s troubling play head on

WSC Avant Bard is presenting a world premiere and critics have lavished praise on its playwright. “Jonelle Walker’s vivid, artfully unnerving TAME. is a retort to Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew,” raved Celia Wren in The Washington Post. (The title of the play, by the way, is all caps and ends with a full-stop.) […]

Mitchell Hébert on the challenge of playing Roy Cohn

“You have to get to a place where you can just get out of your own way to play this guy.” “This guy” is the infamous Roy Cohn, who is the real-life antagonist in Tony Kushner’s epic, two-evening Angels in America, on-stage through October 30th in a collaborative production between Montgomery County’s two largest (and […]

Edward Albee personal tribute: he forgave me (and didn’t have to)

The legendary, indispensable (and greatly lamented by me) Circle Theatre was a movie house famous for its double features. The program changed every two or three days. As an adolescent, I spent more hours at the Circle than I did, say, doing sports, which may explain a lot about me, but that’s another story.

London notebook: I saw a show you’ll likely see here, and that’s The Truth

To tell the truth, The Truth is a thoroughly delightful evening. The play is hilarious, clever, and insightful. That said, I think I would have admired it much more if it wasn’t also so derivative.

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