We are on for tonight’s performance! We are holding curtain until 8:30pm. See you here!
We regret to announce that our performance for Friday, May 9, must be cancelled due to insistent rain. If you reserved a table for this evening, please email us at nfdramaclub[at]gmail[dot]com.
Since the forecast is looking a little iffy, it’s a good time to revisit our rain policy!
If it rains prior to curtain, then we will proceed with the show, delayed only to make up for lost prep time. If it rains during the show, then we will hold and determine if we are dealing with a small shower or something larger.
In other words, if at all possible, the show will go on.
In order to re-schedule a table, ask for Alyssa Jackson at the show, or email us at nfdramaclub[at]gmail[dot]com.
Another king, but not a history. These struggles are far less political, removed from the usual intrigues of country against country. With Henry V, a young warrior king called upon all England to rise to his side in a claim against France. But with King Lear, the cry of rule is of much smaller scope. At stake is not so much the fate of a country, but the sovereignty of one man’s mind. To be considered is not the frailty of a state, but the tenuous alliances that form a family.
The opening premise is simple. Nearing the end of his reign, a king decides to divide his kingdom into three pieces, each to be given to each of his three daughters. Yet on the day of proclamation, the King asks each daughter in turn to describe their love.
This is where it all goes wrong.
William Faulkner and William Shakespeare
There is a remark, possibly apocryphal, attributed to William Faulkner:
“I have a one-volume Shakespeare that I have just about worn out carrying around with me.”
Faulkner and Shakespeare share a common appreciation for imagining the hilarity of life with as much clarity as is reserved for tragedy. Both examine the thin line between fate and free will, the things we can change about ourselves and the destinies we cannot escape.
Faulkner loved the characters that Shakespeare created, listing them in interviews by the handful. Lady Macbeth was a favorite, so too Mercutio. For his opinion on King Lear, he never said directly, but an observation from his fictional novelist in 1925’s Mosquitoes gives a clue:
“[Art is] a perversion … but a perversion that builds Chartres and invents Lear is a pretty good thing.”
A Pretty Good Thing
Imagine now the family tragedy of King Lear through the Southern Gothic lens of a Faulkner novel.
A beloved daughter is shunned by the family patriarch for speaking the truth, giving rise to her two older sisters’s conspiracy to take advantage of their once proud and noble father’s advancing instability. A bastard son finds an opportunity to turn his legitimate half-brother into a villain in their father’s eyes through misdirection and deception. The same bastard becomes an object of desire to both older sisters, wooing each to his advantage and turning them against one another. All the while, a once-trusted family friend disguises himself to protect the head of this family as he falls into senility …
Read it again with a slight Southern accent. Can you hear it?
There you go.
Now you’re ready to come along with us as we present this Faulkner-soaked take on William Shakespeare’s most intimate of tragedies. There will be blood, and there will be tears.
But trust, you’ve never seen Shakespeare done like this.
If you are coming to auditions for King Lear this week, you might be interested in taking a look at the sides we’ll be using. We’ve hosted them all on Google Docs – here’s the link:
Let us know if you have any questions. See you at auditions!