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King Lear

Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Stephen Brown-Fried


January 22 – February 9, 2020

Considered by many to be the greatest of Shakespeare’s tragedies, King Lear depicts two aging parents – one a King, one his courtier – as they reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends. This bold new vision of Shakespeare’s epic stars Northern Stage favorite Jamie Horton (Northern Stage’s Orwell in America at 59E59 Theaters Off-Broadway) under the direction of nationally-acclaimed Shakespeare director Stephen Brown-Fried (Northern Stage’s Macbeth).
Advisory: King Lear is recommended for ages 13 and up for physical violence and adult themes. There is also one short scene that depicts domestic violence. This production contains haze and intense sound effects, including live gunfire from prop guns.
Please note: Each parent and child is different; use your own discretion when deciding what is right for your family.

Run Time:
Approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes, including one 15-minute intermission
Click HERE to read the King Lear playbill. 
Click HERE to read the King Lear study guide.
Spot On – Sunday, January 26, 3:00 PM 
What brings a man to stand in front of his three daughters and ask who loves him the most? King Lear is a story of two dysfunctional families, and of dangerous dynamics many of us may recognize. Uncover the fascinating themes that make King Lear one of our most enduring stories with David S. Leong: the only person in the United States who is a certified conflict resolution trainer and a certified fight master. 
David S. Leong’s fight choreography has been seen in over 20 Broadway plays and musicals and on the stages of almost every major LORT theatre in America. A long-time tenured full professor, David taught at the Juilliard School, Brandeis University, and Virginia Commonwealth University where he is Emeritus faculty. His book Real-World Public Speaking: Great Presentations as Theatre is used by thousands of people across the U.S. David frequently talks about trust and collaboration in business and medicine and his talk How to Build a Team When All They Do Is Fight was featured on Broadway TedX in September 2019.

All Spot On conversations take place in the Byrne Theater at the Barrette Center for the Arts, 74 Gates Street, White River Junction, VT 05001-7052. These events are free and open to the public but tickets are required. Contact the box office at (802) 296-7000 or boxoffice@northernstage.org for more information.


Backstage@NorthernStage: King Lear

Get an exclusive sneak peek behind the scenes of one of Northern Stage’s most adventurous shows, King Lear, and gain a deeper understanding of how our world-class team is bringing Shakespeare’s classic to life on stage. This intensive will also give you tools to analyze Shakespeare’s text and result in a deeper understanding of the play.
Friday, January 24, 4-7 PM
– Director of Education Eric Love will lead language games that create familiarity and comfort with Shakespeare’s language and rhythms.
– Nationally-acclaimed Shakespeare director and director of our production, Stephen Brown-Fried (Northern Stage’s hit production of Macbeth), and members of the design team will give a window into the process of bringing King Lear to life in the Barrette Center for the Arts.
Saturday, January 25, 1-5 PM
– Artistic director Carol Dunne will lead you in an experience of understanding and speaking Shakespeare’s language yourself.
Sunday, January 26, 12-4 PM
– Take a deep dive into the text and themes of King Lear with special focus on crucial passages of the play. This will be followed by our Spot On Series, a community conversation designed to illuminate the themes of King Lear, featuring a special guest. And as an optional add-on, finish out the experience by catching our Sunday performance at 5 PM.

To register, click HERE

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