The two productions will run in repertory at BAM's Harvey Theatre. Performed by a single Royal Shakespeare Company ensemble of 23 actors under the direction of former RSC artistic director Trevor Nunn, the productions feature renowned actor McKellen in the title role of King Lear; McKellen will also play Sorin in select performances of The Seagull.
Nunn points out the similarities between the two dramas, stating, "Both plays explore the fear that one generation has of another. The older generation fears the young taking over. The younger generation is impatient and in fear of having to continue with the older generation around. The characters in both plays are confused and frightened by their mortality. Both plays seem to believe that the idea of endurance is more important than any other human belief. It is necessary to endure."
Following the BAM run, the RSC productions of The Seagull and King Lear will make their way to the Guthrie Theatre in Minnesota (beginning Oct. 5) and Los Angeles' Royce Hall (beginning Oct. 19). The productions will then return to London for a West End run at the New London Theatre beginning Nov. 12.
The creative team includes set design by Christopher Oram, lighting design by Neil Austin, music by Steve Edis, sound design by Fergus O'Hare and fight choreography by Malcolm Ransom.
Sir Ian McKellen's career highlights include the Broadway productions of Amadeus and Dance of Death as well as the films "Gods and Monsters," "Lord of the Rings" and "X-Men." Tickets for the BAM run of The Seagull and King Lear are available by calling (718) 636-4100 or by visiting www.BAM.org.