For our 20th season production of Free Shakespeare on the Common, CSC is pleased to present King Lear for the very first time. King Lear follows the journey of an aging king, faced with his own mortality and mental decline, who tries to secure the legacy of his kingdom by dividing it amongst his three daughters. Only through loss—of status, of love, of loyalty—does King Lear learn what is truly resonant at the end of a life.
“King Lear is one of Shakespeare’s monumental plays,” says Steven Maler, CSC’s Founding Artistic Director. “There’s good reason I’ve waited 20 years to take it on. As with the greatest of Shakespeare’s history plays, Lear blends the political and the personal, interweaving a country’s destiny with the very human frailties of those charged with shepherding its future. The play reveals what it means to be human–our responsibilities to ourselves, our family and our fellow human beings–as well as true loyalty and loyalty as pretense for deceit, and the struggles in times of succession and transition that are as resonant today as they were four hundred years ago.”
Will Lyman says, “Of course, in my fantasies, I hope this will be the best evening of Shakespeare anyone has ever seen; the one that makes people say, ‘I finally understand why everybody says Shakespeare was such a great playwright.’ In truth, I just hope that this will be a theatre experience that speaks honestly about who we are, and about the difficulties and joys of our human experience.”