“The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.”
― King Lear (V.iii.323–324)
Long hailed as one of Shakespeare’s most heartbreaking protagonists, King Lear is an aging monarch who struggles with conflicting desires for love and power. Wishing to exchange his throne for a comfortable retirement, Lear plans to divide his kingdom amongst his three daughters, with the biggest piece reserved for the daughter who loves him most. However, when his favorite daughter, Cordelia, is too honest to flatter as her sisters have, the king becomes petty and vindictive. He divides Cordelia’s share between the cunning Goneril and the bloodthirsty Regan, who are more than happy to use their newfound power against their father. As the kingdom is thrown into further turmoil by the machinations of Edmund, the Earl of Gloucester’s treacherous bastard, loyalties are forged and broken, erupting in a storm of chaos that destroys almost everything and everyone that King Lear holds dear.
King Lear features: Max Beyer, Laura Darling, David DiPaola, George Filieau, Aeshley D. Grace, Stephen Henel, Vivian Wilson-Hwang, Kasey Kenyon, Chris Kowalski, Lee Lattimer, John Nickles, William M. Sanderson, Robert J. Stewart, James Wild, and is directed by Linda D. Shirey with assistance by Lucy Breyer.
(Cover image by Vivian Wilson-Hwang)