King Lear

William Shakespeare

The Durham Arts Council

120 Morris St.

Durham, NC, 27701

February 23rd, 24th, and 25th, 2017

Cast and Crew

Director.......................................................................Leo Egger

Stage Managers...........................Rachel Emrick, Cathy Emrick

Costume Designer.....................................................Julia Haws

Fight Choreographer..................................................Jeff Jones

Lighting Designer................................................Bill Ogonowski

Kent...................................................................Pamela Alberda

Gloucester..............................................................Daniel Egger

Edmund.........................................................Matthew Sampson

King Lear...........................................................Emerson Beyer

Goneril......................................................Emma Conklin-Miller 

Cordelia, Fool.............................................Stephanie Minervino

Regan..................................................................Claire McCune

Duke of Albany.........................................................Milo Fryling

Duke of Cornwall.................................................James Dryden

Duke of Burgandy.......................................................Dan Duffy

King of France, Curan, Captain..................................Rob Soule

Edgar......................................................................Lorin Kaplan

Oswald....................................................................Oliver Egger

Gentleman............................................................Lucie Ciccone

First Servant..............................................................Sam Henry

Second Servant...........................................................Ani Bryce

Third Servant, Doctor..............................................Anna Meyer

Old Man...................................................................Luigi Troiani

Special thanks to Jullia Pleasants, ADF and Susan Haws.

Director Notes

Lear proved much more of a challenge than Hamlet. There is no question that this play is a masterpiece, but it is very difficult to pinpoint exactly why. My job is not to guide you to a single answer; that is up for you to decide. I would simply like to share my perspective.

 

We follow the story of two people with narcissistic traits: Gloucester and Lear, who are largely blind to anyone but themselves. As the play begins, these two men only see how they can use people; they see those around them as vehicles for their own gain. When Lear turns to Goneril in 2.4 and says “I'll go with thee. Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty, and thou art twice her love” we see how Lear equates the feeling of  love with how much that person is giving to him at that moment.

 

Something you begin to notice when reading Shakespeare are the mirroring themes, images, and characters. When the play opens, Gloucester lacks empathy for anyone but himself and jumps to thoughtless and destructive conclusions. They both lack moral sight. Shakespeare plays with this idea of moral sight by using images related to literal sight. Kent in 1.1 says “see better Lear and let me remain the true blank of thine eye.” He tries to warn Lear that he is morally blind to abandon Cordelia. This play displays to us the spiritual journey of finding moral truth that is greater than the individual. We are presented with metaphors that take these men on journeys. Gloucester, although he starts to show empathy when the king goes mad, fails to truly “see” his sons until he loses his sight literally. This point is emphasized with a pun; when Lear asks him to “read this challenge,” Gloucester says, “were all thy letters suns, I could not see one.”

 

Lear faces a raging storm and madness before he sees people the way they truly are. After Lear has faced the horrors of the previous night, he is reintroduced to Cordelia. He says tearfully,  “For as I am a man, I think this lady to be my child Cordelia.” She replies, also weeping,  “And so I am; I am.” For the first time,  Lear sees Cordelia as she truly is.

Everyone wants to be recognized. Edmund wants his father to recognize him as something more than a mistake; Goneril and Regan are resentful that their father has favored Cordelia, which motivates them to seek recognition by other means. Kent spends most of the play in disguise, not recognized by either Gloucester or Lear; when thanked by Cordelia for helping to save her father, he answers with the theme of the play: “to be acknowledged, madam, is o’erpaid.”

 

My favorite part of theater is the element of compromise. As a director you must compromise your vision with the actors, the technicians, the budget, and ourselves. While the original vision may be warped through this process, we are often left with something that is greater, something beyond what the individual can do alone. To me this is where the true excitement lies. It is wonderful to work with a group of people who love Shakespeare, and are willing to grow, fail, and learn together. We unlock beautiful secrets to age-old questions. This is my true passion as a person. 

- Leo Egger, Director

1/20

© Photography by Mariah Lefebvre Clayton - www.moriahlefebvre.com

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