When the lady is a king
Sunday, October 23, 2005
BY DAVID N. DUNKLE
Of The Patriot-News
The man who would be king must walk the walk, and that was a bit of a problem for Amber Wagner, a definite female.
"You don't feel like you are walking like a girl until you try walking like a man," said Wagner, who will play the role of Prince Hal in Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival's upcoming production of "Henry IV, Parts 1 & 2."
Melissa Dunphy, who will play Hal's sworn enemy, Hotspur, in the production, agreed.
"It's so different," Dunphy said. "You have to think yourself into a man's body. Since I'm five foot three and don't look anything like a man, it's hard to think of myself into having broad shoulders and thinner hips."
"Once I feel an emotion, it tends to be right out there, on my sleeve," said Wagner. "Men try keep their emotions under wraps as long as possible. [Now] I can understand a little better why they are afraid to let everyone see their emotion. There is so much of a power struggle going on all the time. If you show any weakness, the next person is going to come along and take your position away from you."
In the case of Prince Hal, that person is Hotspur, an angry young man who challenges Hal's right to the throne.
That rivalry will lead to a battle of armies -- and a more personal duel.
Break out the broadswords, ladies.
"I have a great big sword fight with Prince Hal," Dunphy said. "That's been a lot of fun, but it's a real sword. It's pretty heavy. You swing that thing for a few minutes, and you are sweating, your muscles are aching, and you are puffing for breath."
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