Dallas Theater Center will conclude its four-year Shakespeare cycle with one of the playwright's greatest tragedies King Lear, a co-production with Trinity Repertory Company and directed by DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty. This production brings together members of DTC's and Trinity Rep's acting companies for the first time in years, resulting in a masterfully acted play about family, aging and the responsibilities of power.
King Lear opens for previews on Friday, January 18 and runs through Sunday, February 18. Single tickets to King Lear are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202.
When this production of King Lear premiered in Providence, RI in September, theater critics throughout New England raved about the collaboration between the two companies, the clarity of the story telling and the emotional impact of the piece.
"It's a wild and woolly Lear," wrote The Providence Journal's Channing Gray. "Never does the intensity let up," in a production he described as "riveting theater." Tracey Minkin of GoLocalProv.com agreed, saying "this is Trinity's greatest artistic achievement in years." Christie Vela's Goneril "is especially steely," wrote Veronica Bruscini of BroadwayWorld.com and Brian McEleney "is a superior king... bodacious and bold," said Bill Gale of Rhode Island NPR.
Trinity Rep Acting Company member Brian McEleney stars as the aging Lear who divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving the largest share to the daughter who loves him best. Eldest daughters Goneril (DTC's Christie Vela) and Regan (Trinity Rep's Angela Brazil) flatter their father, while youngest daughter Cordelia (DTC's Abbey Siegworth) speaks honestly of her love. Lear is angered by Cordelia's response and gives his kingdom to Goneril and Regan. Once in power, their true feelings about their father become known and their betrayal sets the tragic tone for the rest of the play.
Additional Brierley Resident Acting Company members include Hassan El-Amin (Earl of Kent), Chamblee Ferguson (Duke of Cornwell), Lee Trull (Edmund) and Steven Michael Walters (Edgar). Also from Trinity Rep are Stephen Berenson (The Fool), Phyllis Kay (Gloucester), FrEd Sullivan, Jr. (Duke of Oswald) and Joe Wilson, Jr. (Duke of Albany). Rounding out the cast are SMU Meadows School of the Arts students Adam A. Anderson, Russell Jonas, BranDon Potter and Steve Torres.
"I have wanted to direct a production that combines the rich talents of DTC and Trinity Rep's acting companies for some time," says Moriarty. "King Lear presented the perfect opportunity to unite these two theaters in a co-production of one of the greatest tragedies of all-time. The talent of the cast is matched by the design team, which created a unique and unexpected version of Lear's England."
Responsible for the design are set designer Michael McGarty, Trinity Rep resident costume designer William Lane, lighting designer Seth Reiser and sound designers and composers Broken Chord. Together they create a world where the walls come crashing down around the disillusioned king and a rainstorm unlike any the Wyly Theatre has seen before.