Shakespeare Marathon – Chickspeare

Chickspeare presents Henry V on Monday, April 25, 2016 at 3 pm, in NC Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC.

DIRECTOR: Sheila Snow Proctor

Henry V – Joanna Gerdy                      
Chorus – Sheila Snow Proctor      
Canterbury/FluEllen/Bedford – Polly Atkins                          
Ely/Lord Scroop/King of France/Rambures – Aisha Dew
Exeter/Nym/Orleans/Erpingham/MacMorris Count – Brianna Smith                  
Quickley/Gloucester/Bourbon/Gower/Bates – Anne Lambert          
Bardolph/Constable/Governor/Williams/Westmoreland/Burgandy – Nicia Carla    
Pistol/Earl of Cambridge/Jamy/Dauphin – Stephanie Gardner  
First Ambassador/Montjoy/Messenger/Alice – Stephanie DiPaulo      
Katherine/Boy/Sir Thomas Grey/Salisbury – Miranda DiPaulo


Henry V begins at the English court, where the young king is persuaded that he has a claim to the throne of France. When the French dauphin, or heir apparent, insults him by sending him tennis balls, Henry launches his military expedition to France.

Before departing, Henry learns that three of his nobles have betrayed him, and he orders their execution. Meanwhile, his old tavern companions grieve over Sir John Falstaff’s death, and then leave for France.

Henry and his army lay siege to the French town of Harfleur, which surrenders. The Princess of France, Katherine, starts to learn English, but the French nobles are sure of success against Henry. Instead, Henry’s forces win a great victory at Agincourt.

After a brief return to England, Henry comes back to France to claim his rights and to set up his marriage to Princess Katherine. The play’s epilogue points out that Henry will die young and that England will as a result lose most of his French territories.

 Folger Shakespeare Library. “Henry V.” Folger Shakespeare Library. n.d. Web. April 1, 2016.

Sheila Snow Proctor — Sheila is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chickspeare: The All-Female Shakespeare Company. She has been in the Charlotte theatre scene for the past twenty years as an actor, director and producer for many Charlotte area theatre companies including Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Queen City Theatre, Donna Scott Productions and The Edge Theatre Co. Over the course of her theatre career she has won numerous awards from Creative Loafing including Best Actress in a Comedy and as Actress of the Year and from Metrolina Theatre Association including four as Best Actress in a Comedy. She has also received numerous director awards and nominations including Creative Loafing’s Best Director for Becky’s New Car at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte and from the Metrolina Theatre Association for “The Body Chronicles” with Donna Scott Productions. Sheila continues to be an advocate for women in theatre and is developing new theatre projects to ensure female actors, directors and playwrights have a voice through Chickspeare’s productions and projects.

Joanna Gerdy — Though Joanna’s current day job is that of theatre director at Davidson Day School, where she is proud to work with brilliant students and colleagues, it is Shakespeare – the words, the relationships, the discoveries, and the connections – that makes her giddy!  Shakespeare directing credits include:  Midsummer Abridged, R&J, and Hamlet  – all part of the NoDa Brewing Co. ChicksBeer series.  Shakespeare’s R&J, Twelfth Night, Henry IV, Macbeth, and Quickspeare. Favorite Shakespeare acting credits:  Richard III (Queen Elizabeth), As You Like It (Jaques), Twelfth Night (Olivia), Macbeth (Weird Sister), and Julius Caesar (Antony). Shakespeare acting credits include; Richard III (Queen Elizabeth), As You Like It (Jaques), The Comedy of Errors (Aemelia), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Hippolyta), Twelfth Night (Olivia), Macbeth (Weird Sister), Quickspeare (Demetrius), and Julius Caesar (Antony At Children’s Theatre of Charlotte).  During her time with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte she was an artist-in-residence in the Learning through Drama program and Playwrights in the Schools, served as director of the Heart to Heart Theatre Ensemble, her original play about dating violence, Twist and Shout, ran for 8 consecutive years and was seen by every public school 9th grader. Joanna also developed and directed Shakespeare in School, an adult professional touring company and educational residency program funded through the Arts and Science Council. In 2015, she was one of only 31 recipients (out of 117 applicants) of the Arts and Science Council’s Regional Artist Project Grant, which allowed her to participate in Experimental Theatre’s La MaMa Umbria International Theatre Directors’ Symposium in Spoleto, Italy. Also in 2015 Joanna and a company of actors from Davidson Day traveled to Spain to join an archaeological dig, engage with members of the local and regional communities, and create and perform theatre.  She thanks Sheila Proctor for bringing Chickspeare back, and all of her Charlotte theatre friends and collaborators for working to create theatre that empowers and inspires. She is looking forward to directing Chickspeare’s Romeo & Juliet for their 2017 Season.

Anne Lambert – Anne is a founding member of Chickspeare, Charlotte’s all-female Shakespeare Company, and an actor, director and regional theater producer. Anne has performed in productions at Theatre Charlotte, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, BareBones, Chickspeare, Davidson Community Players, CAST, and the Warehouse Performing Arts Center. Under her production banner, Charlotte’s Off-Broadway, she produces contemporary independent theater. Recent COB shows include: I’LL EAT YOU LAST: A CHAT WITH SUE MENGERS, RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN, STONES IN HIS POCKETS, and THE SMELL OF THE KILL. Look for her next onstage in Davidson Community Players’ production of SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN in June.  Anne is also the Grants Manager for McColl Center for Art + Innovation in Charlotte, NC.

Nicia Carla –Nicia Carla was an actor in the very first Chickspeare production, As You Like It. Other credits with Chickspeare include, Henry IV, MacBeth, and Twelfth Night. She has performed for years with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; Journey to Oz, Coraline, The Borrowers, A Year with Frog and Toad, And Then They Came for Me, are a few of her favorites. With Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Divine Sister, and the world premiere of The Patron Saint of Losing Sleep. Nicia has also worked with Actor’s Theatre as a director of Venus in Fur and with CTC as a director of A Thousand Cranes, Ferdinand the Bull, The Secret Life of Girls, The Wrestling Season, Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing. Inspired in part by those amazing Chicks, she started PaperHouse Theatre in 2012, which has produced Penny Pennyworth, LaRonde, We Won’t Pay, We Won’t Pay, The School For Wives, The Aliens, The K of D, A Woman of No Importance, and she is producing/directing Much Ado About Nothing in late spring/early summer, as well as playing with a little UnRehearsed Shakespeare in May. 

Aisha Dew — Aisha Dew is leader in the local and greater community in numerous ways.  She’s had experience in not for profit administration, performing arts and community activism. She has maintained a lifelong commitment to the arts, both for social awareness and political activism. A graduate of Salem College, she received training in acting and theater from Wake Forest University and Yale University School of Drama.  She served as Director of Performing Arts for Hall Neighborhood House, Chair of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party, and President of the Dew Group. 

Pairing her passion for the arts with her drive for community activism, Aisha founded the Hall Neighborhood House Performing Arts Program, giving over ten thousand children and parents exposure to the arts as audience members and active participants over a five-year period. Aisha was also the Regional Director of Wolf Trap Early Learning through the Arts for the state of Connecticut.  World-renowned, Wolf Trap is the only national park dedicated to the arts, sustaining more than 20 affiliate programs around the country.

Aisha has also produced and directed over 15 plays, festivals, and shows. Most recently, she worked on Belles at Salem College and the regional premiere of Top Dog, Underdog. She received the Metrolina Theater Association nomination for Best Director as well as Creative Loafing magazine’s nomination for Theater Newcomer of the Year.

Aisha made history as the first African American woman to be elected Chair of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party.  She chaired the party during the 2012 re-election for President Barack Obama and the 2012 National Democratic Convention hosted in Mecklenburg County.  Aisha gained experience as the Third Vice Chair of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Party and First Vice President of the Young Democrats of Mecklenburg County from 2008-2010.

 She has received many honors and awards. Aisha is a graduate of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County’s Project Blueprint and is the recipient of the Greater Bridgeport NAACP Special Service Award. She received the award for Top Five Young Democrats of North Carolina.  Aisha is also the recipient of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Young Democrat of the Year award. She also received the Jim B. Hunt award from the Young Democrats of North Carolina.

Polly Atkins – Polly Adkins is a veteran on most all Charlotte/Metrolina area stages, having appeared on the boards at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Carolina Actor’s Studio Theatre, Theatre Charlotte, CPCC Summer Theatre and Queen City Theatre many times over the years. She has also performed at Fort Mill Playhouse, Belmont Abbey Players, the New Stage Ensemble Summer Rep, Charlotte Rep New Play Festival, Create Carolina, Pineville Dinner Theatre and at the Bechtler Museum with her one-woman show of the life of Edith Piaf.  Favorite roles include Violet in August: Osage County, Big Edie in Grey Gardens, Eleanor in The Lion in Winter, Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Mama Rose in Gypsy, Nurse Rachet in Cuckoo’s Nest, Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Edith Piaf in ATC’s PIAF.  Winner of 7 Metrolina Theatre Association Awards, Polly was named Best Local Actress in Charlotte Magazines‘ Best of the Best in 20l2.  She is also a Director, heading shows at ATC’s NuVoices Festival, Theatre Charlotte, FMCP and various community theaters around the region.  A retired French and Theatre teacher, Polly lives in Fort Mill with her patient husband, five dogs and two cats.  

Emily Ramirez — Emily Ramirez grew up in Katy, TX and is a recently-retired professional ballerina. Her training includes Adamson Ballet School, Houston Ballet Academy, and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. After over 10 years of performing soloist and principal ballet roles both nationally and internationally, she began her transition into stage and film work. Theatre credits include “Rock of Ages” (Constance Sack/Ensemble 1/Dance Capt) and “Beautiful Day” (Jenny Leonard) at Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte; “Addams Family Musical” (Morticia Addams) and “Cabaret” (Sally Bowles) in Piedmont Player’s Theatre; and “State of the Union” (Mary Matthews) and “The Prisoner on Second Avenue” (Edna Edison) at Corlin Productions. Screen credits include “Obamaland” (Random) and “The Basement” (Heather Hutchinson), and she has been featured in voiceover work for such companies as the NC Education Lottery, Portrait Innovations, and Hardee’s. Ms. Ramirez also currently works as a dance instructor, choreographer, and freelance writer (Dance Magazine,  

When she isn’t teaching, performing, or creating, she enjoys cooking extravagant meals for her husband and friends, snuggling with her two lap dogs on the couch, and promoting her feminist agenda for equal rights, equal pay, and self-love amongst the female race.

Stephanie Dipaolo — Stephanie is honored to be a part of this tribute to the Bard. She has previously worked with Chickspeare in Twelfth Night, playing Malvolio, and as Polonius/Ghost in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. She has performed in Charlotte for the past fifteen years and Chicago before that. Favorite roles include Mary Haines in The Women, Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate,  and Hannah Jelkes in Night of the Iguana. Stephanie has been nominated twice for best actress by the Metrolina Theatre Association.  When not on stage she works for the Social Security Administration. She is supported by her husband of twenty-two years and her two beautiful and talented daughters. Thank you to Sheila for inviting her to be a “chick” once more!

Brianna Susan Smith is the founding Artistic Director of TAPROOT, a multi-disciplinary collective of performative storytellers in Charlotte, NC. Smith works as a producer, director, designer, collaborator and actor with companies around Charlotte. Notable roles include Lady of the Lake (SPAMALOT), Helen (FAT PIG), Trina (FALSETTOS), Cass Elliot (DREAM A LITTLE DREAM). Smith has toured with TAPROOT to festivals, alternative venues and events around the Southeast. With a background in diverse theatre, music and dance styles, Smith encourages the exploration of new ideas, forms and artistic aesthetics.