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Jon Kretzu, who will direct this startling, reimagined King Lear, says about the production:  “This intimate re-interpretation will focus on exploring the anguish of familial conflict, misunderstanding and violence within the context of a surreal contemporary nightmare of dementia, madness and mortality.”  Make your plans now and experience for yourself this summer why _King Lear _has inspired scholars, poets and even plumbers for hundreds of years.

Director Jon Kretzu’s Notes on His Production of _King Lear:

_I have always loved King Lear.  It is one of those unique artistic works that seem to explore and expose the deepest parts of human behavior and action with depth, poetry and heartbreaking truth. For me, what has always made it work is its depiction of the pain and searing extremes of love and hate present in most families:  the need for control; the slow rot of mistrust; jealousy and envy; the sad truth of neglect; and misplaced affection. Mixed into this personal tragedy are larger issues: the shock of realizing the primal, bottomless possibility of violence and cruelty lying dormant in all of us; the deep fear of madness and losing control - either thru trauma or the complexities of the aging process; and, finally, a clear-eyed look into the abyss of life’s realities in a cruel world where happy endings are sadly not the norm.


I want to explore the play thru all of these viewpoints – for me, the social, political strife of the play has always been the least interesting side of the play. Because of this, I want to explore the piece in a more personal, human-sized way, concentrating on the family dynamics and personal tragedies. I am also fascinated by the way Lear’s madness transforms and distorts the world around him into an ever more horrific nightmare.  It has always seemed a very contemporary script to me, full of language and action that is as avant garde and surreal as anything in literature. It remains a play that both astonishes and lacerates.

About the Ticket Supplier: Portland Shakespeare Project

The Portland Shakespeare Project is a nonprofit theatre company dedicated to educating, enriching, and entertaining audiences by producing classical works and contemporary works associated with classical material.

The Portland Shakespeare Project is committed to using dedicated, professional, local actors and technicians.

The Portland Shakespeare Project will offer classes and educational programs for students, actors and audience members designed to raise proficiency, broaden knowledge and enrich understanding of classical material and contemporary works which honor the traditions of classical theatre.