The story of Anne Boleyn has more elements to it than just the tragedy of her death.
“I don’t want it to be a story about her death. I want it to be a story about her life,” said Denise Weatherly-Green, director of the upcoming play, “The fact that these two [Ann Boleyn and Henry VIII] gave the world Elizabeth — he may have had his faults and he may have had a very tyrannous reign, however through his quest to have a boy, they gave the world Elizabeth the first, who is probably the most popular monarch who ever ruled.”
Though there have been many challenges putting the production together, the overall result is the experience that the actors can’t wait to give to the audience.
“I’m expecting there to be quite a bit of people who think they know a lot of the story but come in and learn that there’s a lot deeper meaning to why things happened,” said actor Walker Delk, who plays the character Mark Smeateon. Delk believes that the “two most amazing parts is the storyline and the believability of it.”
The music for the play also has a unique touch. Music Professor, Frank Kimlicko composed the sheet music used throughout the entire play by adding notes to the original lyrics. Professor Weatherly-Green also has special ties to Thousand Days.
“I did this show when I was in college and costumed it. It’s always appealed to me as one I would like to direct someday, so, 25 years later, I’m directing,” said Weatherly-Green.
Thus past admiration and eagerness to have her students do a classical piece led to the selection of Thousand Days.
Like most theatrical cases, there have been numerous difficulties while trying to organize Thousand Days. Mixed dialogue of classical and contemporary language, heavy costumes early in the season and attempts to understand the era all add to the weight of production. However, past the hardships, there is an appreciation.
“It’s amazing to think how we’re still dealing with their problems,” said Delk.
The most well known history about Anne and King Henry VIII is hardly ever seen as pleasant, but it’s the story of their romance and relationship that Thousand Days wishes to tell.
“There’s many times where even the scenes are going on but it becomes more of a duet between Anne and Henry, even though other people are there,” said Weatherly- Green. “Beyond his [King Henry] tyrannous reign, he gave us so much of the foundations of society, and he birthed the middle class in England.”
Much hard work has gone into preparation, and now everyone is ready to share their skills and knowledge of this story with others.
Weatherly-Green said “Anne has a line about expiation that there is such thing as expiation and it involves dying to live. That is kind of the essence of the show for us.”