Lucy Peacock, Canadian Stage Royalty, Plays Queen Lear at University of Northern Colorado Nov. 29-Dec. 2
By Kenneth Jones
Students in the University of Northern Colorado's theatre program perform alongside guest artist Lucy Peacock, the Canadian theatre star revered for her work at the Stratford Festival, in Queen Lear, a unique take on a Shakespeare classic, starting Nov. 29 for a weekend of performances.
The classic tragedy King Lear has been adapted and directed by David Grapes, director of the School of Theatre and Dance. Performances with Peacock in the title role play to Dec. 2 in Langworthy Theatre located in Fraiser Hall on UNCO's campus in Greeley, CO. University of Northern Colorado School of Theatre Arts and Dance presents the staging.
According to production notes, "This gender-bent adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear takes place in the mythical 'Orcades' off the coast of Scotland long, long ago. Queen Lear, the last of many great tribal warrior/shamanists is a defeated woman who decides to divide her kingdom among her daughters. However, her youngest child, Cordelia, fails the test of fealty and is banished without her rightful inheritance. Lear's remaining daughters conspire to rid the kingdom of their mother's influence while slowly torturing the queen into madness. At the same time, the Duchess of Gloucester and her daughters are also undergoing a power struggle. In the end, a new era begins for the tribe as a man takes his place on the throne for the first time in 5,000 years."
Adaptor-director Grapes, a busy regional director who is known for Summerwind Productions and its popular Frank Sinatra revue My Way, explains the Lear concept this way: "In this radical, dynamic reinterpretation, we transpose the action of the tragedy to Northern Scotland's Orkney Islands in the 5th-6th century AD and place the iconic central role in the hands of a female actor to bring a fresh perspective to the play. Told from the perspective of the dead Cordelia, time unfolds before our eyes in a celebration of ancient magic and music unlike any version of Lear ever produced before."
In addition to her 26 seasons at Stratford, in Ontario, Peacock has also appeared on the stages of Broadway's Lincoln Center, Vancouver Playhouse, Talk is Free Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Centaur Theater and National Arts Center and a number of theatres in Toronto.
Shelly Gaza, as Gloucester, is the production's additional Equity guest artist. The cast also includes Anne Terze-Schwarz; Devin Whitten; Misha Fristensky; Megan Lloyd Jones; Malloree Hill; Caylie Kalmbach; Arielle Yoder; Anneliese Farmer; Jess Henderson; Chandler Darby; Josh Taliaferro; Logan Hurd; Jerimiah Light; Doug Fries; Tyler Richmeier; Taylor Recktenwald; Zach Tkachyk; Chase Williams; Jake Dutmer; Zach Taggert; Kristin McKusick; Stephanie Cutrell; Blair Belt; Jackie Honold; Kayla Troutman; Jennifer Wise; Emily Qualey; Alexis Perez; Madison Fuller; and Megan Bentley.
Queen Lear plays 7:30 PM Nov. 29- Dec. 1 and 2 PM Dec. 2.
For tickets and information, call (970) 351-2200 or visit arts.unco.edu.
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