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APSU Presents William Shakespeare’s Masterwork “King Lear”


Austin Peay State UniversityClarksville, TN – Late in William Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece “King Lear,” the Earl of Gloucester cries out “As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods – they kill us for their sport.”

The line encapsulates the general state of despair and helplessness felt by the characters after two hours of betrayal, violence, warring and storms. The emotional intensity of “King Lear” has led it to be considered by many as the bard’s greatest drama. The esteemed Polish theater critic Jan Kott even described the work as “a high mountain that everyone admires, yet no one particularly wishes to climb.”

This month, the Austin Peay State University Area of Theatre is tackling this ambitious play under the direction of assistant professor Darren Michael. The show begins at 7:30pm on November 17th-20th, with a 2:00pm matinee on November 21st in the Trahern Theatre.

“We will give you the labors of our work as we attempt to climb the Everest-like peak that is ‘King Lear,’” Michael said. “But we also wanted to bring the story back to its roots of Elizabethan storytelling where the invisible ‘fourth wall’ between the audience and the actors never existed. This was meant to be a performance, direct and immediate. We hope to bring out the accessibility of the words and message, just as Shakespeare’s players would have.”

“King Lear” is the story of an old monarch who watches his worst nightmare come true as his kingdom and his sanity crumble under the ruthless, bloodthirsty hands of his two eldest daughters. The play reminds audiences that power often blinds one to the pretense of loyalty and fidelity, but in one’s most humble hour, true family and friends are discovered.

General admission tickets to the play are $10.00, and student, faculty, staff and military tickets are $5.00. For more information, contact Michael at 931-221-6291.




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