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Dallas Theater Center Presents “King Lear”

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Opening Night on January 25th may be sold out; but you can enjoy the pay what you can on Friday, January 18th for the final production in DTC’s four-year Shakespeare Cycle and recipient of NEA’s Shakespeare in American Communities Grant

King Lear – Stephen Berenson, Brian McEleney – by Mark Turek

By William Shakespeare Directed By Kevin Moriarty

 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre  •  2400 Flora Street

Previews: January 18 – 24  •  Opening Night: Friday, January 25 at 8:00pm

Full Run: January 18 – February 17, 2013

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.

This tragedy is the final play in Moriarty’s four-year Shakespeare cycle.  Other plays in the cycle include The Tempest (romance) in 2011-12; Henry IV (history) in 2010-11 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (comedy) in 2009-10.  Like the other plays in the cycle, King Lear received $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts’ Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation program.  As part of this program, more than 2,500 students and teachers from public and private schools across North Texas will see, for free or at a highly reduced price, this 16-person cast delve into some of the richest characters in the English language as they investigate themes of loyalty, betrayal, power, cruelty and affection.

King Lear begins previews on Friday, January 18 at 8:00pm with a Pay-What-You-Can performance.  Tickets to this performance will be available for purchase online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org.  Any unsold tickets to the PWYC performance will be available for purchase at the Wyly Theatre box office the night of the show.  DTC’s Come Early program will take place before every performance.  Patrons will have the opportunity to learn about the play prior to viewing the production.  DTC’s Stay Late program will take place after each performance.  Patrons will have the opportunity to engage with artists, learn about the production and share insights about the play in a lively discussion.  Details for Come Early and Stay Late are available online.  Tickets for King Lear are on sale now.  Ticket prices start at $15 and are available online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.

Dallas Theater gratefully acknowledges NEA – Shakespeare for a New Generation; Associate Producing Partner Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Assistant Producing Partner BDO USA, LLP for support of this production.

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