Westporters know Michael Hayden as Billy Bigelow.
The gifted actor played the “Carousel” role in a production at Long Lots Junior High School. And Staples.
And on Broadway. And in London.
Michael was such a good Billy Bigelow, he received a Theatre World Award, plus Tony, Laurence Olivier and Drama Desk Award nominations.
Of course, the Juilliard graduate is more than a 1-trick pony. He had recurring roles on television’s “Another World” and “As the World Turns.”
His Broadway credits include “Festen,” “Enchanted April,” “Judgment at Nuremberg” — and “Henry IV.” In that Shakespearean drama at Lincoln Center — with an all-star cast including Kevin Kline and Ethan Hawke — Michael played Hal, the ne’er-do-well prince who eventually becomes king.
Now, the 1982 Staples graduate completes Hal’s journey.
He is cast as the title character in “Henry V,” which opens in repertory this month in Washington, DC.
That’s only the half of it. Michael also plays the title character in “Richard II.” Both roles are part of a Shakespeare Theatre Company bill called “The Leadership Repertory.” It runs through April.
Shakespeare imagines the reigns of both Richard II and Henry V as they navigate through era-defining decisions, civil war and the ultimate struggle for power. Exploring the timeless themes of power and politics, these two plays performed in repertory keenly focus their lens on the traits of leadership.
Once more unto the breach…