Our campus production of King Lear, which opened on Thursday night, played to a crowded theatre on Friday (February 18). It’s a powerful rendition of this dark, troubling play.
The production is an excellent example of the partnership between SOU’s Theatre Arts faculty and students and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival: OSF’s Brent Hinkley directed and Barry Kraft played the king. Several of our student actors and artists also have OSF experience—as well as experience with other theatres around the country. They have all done an excellent job bringing to life this difficult and disturbing text.
King Lear is filled with painful insights into courage, love, truth, and justice—to say nothing of family dysfunction carried to the extreme. It’s a complex commentary on this year’s campus theme, “On Being Human.” But, for me, watching King Lear last night, during this time of political struggle and upheaval all over the world, insights into political power and the nature of government came to the fore. The play creates a distressing vision of what happens politically when selfishness and greed triumph over the greater good.
Many congratulations to everyone who helped bring this strong production to our Center Stage Theatre. Go see it!