Mary Baldwin College’s mobile theatre company, Roving Shakespeare, presents King Lear at 7:30 p.m. January 28 at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton. This is the fourth production of the season for this unique graduate-level company, which combines students’ diverse regional backgrounds and shared knowledge of early modern theatre to bring the plays of Shakespeare and his contemporaries to available audiences.
Guest artist and assistant professor in the Shakespeare and Performance program at Mary Baldwin, Matthew Davies, will join company ranks as Lear, an aging monarch who divides the power of his kingdom among his daughters, instigating a struggle for dominance. As his elder daughters work to minimize his control, he strives to hold on to his sanity and dignity amidst impending political turmoil. King Lear explores the rocky dynamics of family love and proffers a vision of forgiveness and destruction.
The production is based on the first quarto of King Lear, published in 1608, which is distinguished from the first folio version, a compilation of works printed in 1623 after William Shakespeare’s death. The company will strive to recreate the rehearsal conditions for which Shakespeare originally wrote the play, imposing a series of restrictions upon the production based on research into the theatrical practices of Shakespeare’s day. Most notably, the cast of King Lear will produce the play without the aid of a director or designers.
Roving Shakespeare’s production of King Lear January 28 at 7:30 p.m . in the Blackfriars Playhouse is a “pay-as-you-like-it” performance.
King Lear is available for bookings, as well as Roving Shakespeare’s production of The Comedy of Errors, which has optional educational workshops. For more information, contact Roving Shakespeare’s booking manager, Rachel Ratkowski, at email@example.com. “Like” Roving Shakespeare on Facebook, or follow the company on Twitter for more information and ticket discounts. The season continues with As You Like It on March 18 and will wrap up March 31–April 2 during the Roving Shakespeare Festival Season Finale of Shows at the Blackfriars Playhouse where audiences can catch all the company’s shows including Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Fletcher and Massinger’s The Sea Voyage.