Sunday, March 30, 2014

Theatre For A New Audience Keeps Things Simple, In A Good Way

If you think Shakespeare is hard to understand, it could be because you haven't seen a Theatre For A New Audience production. The company's simple new production of King Lear, directed by Arin Arbus, is easy to follow. The minimalist set (by Ricardo Hernandez) means there are few distractions, and you can really focus on the language.
Photo credit: Carol Rosegg
Michael Pennington plays Lear, the aging king who foolishly divides his estate between his two oldest daughters, casting out his youngest and truest daughter Cordelia (Lilly Englert). If the performances aren't revelatory, they do bring a humanity to the play. Even the villains--Goneril (Rachel Pickup), Regan (Bianca Amato), and Edmund (Chandler Williams)--are more sympathetic than in any production I've seen. If you listen to what these characters have to say, you'll see that they are just people like us--who want to get by, who worry about getting older, and who want to be loved.

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