With this week's opening of Shakespeare's Henry V, Ohio Shakespeare Festival completes a two year initiative to bring to life the best of Shakespeare's History plays.

In recent seasons, OSF has been successfully showcasing the less-frequently-performed plays in Shakespeare's canon, including King Lear, Richard III, Love's Labours Lost, and Cymbeline. Changing that arc a bit, last year OSF turned to the neglected, yet exciting and vital Histories, beginning with Henry IV, part one, and continuing now with Henry V.

Henry V features long-time OSF Company member Andrew Cruse as King Henry, the now grown "Prince Hal" from Henry IV, part one. Many of the cast of Henry IV are returning to Henry V, including Scott Campbell as Bardolph, and Katie Zarecki as Mistress Quickly. Others featured in the cast are Tracee Patterson as "The Chorus," (who assumes multiple roles), Bernard Bygott as Pistol, and Tess Burgler as Princess Katharine.

For the two Henries, in a desire to help bridge an ever-widening gap in Humanities and History education, and supported in part by the Akron Community Foundation and the Corbin Foundation, OSF is offering a free student night (with ID) on Aug. 6. Open-seating tickets will be available to all students (at the gate only) beginning at 6 p.m. that evening, until we sell out. Easy to follow study guides and family trees will be available, so that the fascinating progression of the Plantagenet Kings will be clear to all.

The run of Henry V also includes a Preview Performance on July 30.

OSF performs at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, 714 N. Portage Path, in Akron. Grounds open at 6 p.m. for picnicking, the Greenshow beings at 7:30, and Henry V begins at 8, Thursdays through Sundays, rain or shine.