King Lear
By William Shakespeare
Directed By Katie Logan

“See better, Lear, and let me still remain the true blank of thine eye.”


King Lear actors Natasha Solomon  and Kelley Van Dilla

For many reasons, I keep returning to Kent’s words to his king in an attempt to understand this monster of a play. They were the first cited by the wisest man I know when he discovered I’d be directing King Lear. And I may have chosen selfishly, since a director’s most important job is to watch and critique a production from the outside when her actors on stage cannot.  In addition to my own fascination with the lines, the goal of “seeing better” captures this entire production perfectly. This company has spent months debating the actions of the characters you’ll be watching–who acts nobly? Despicably? Where do we find morals and justice in this world? We have few answers to these questions. The time we have spent asking, though, makes more apparent that which is not just and that which we cannot fit easily into categories of good and evil. We have learned to look head-on at the things we may prefer to ignore. Our project is not an exercise in morality or academia. We pass no judgments and make no claims. Instead, we choose to tell a story, one filled with characters who, both literally and figuratively, cannot see. Alluring memories of the past blind some and the future’s glittering promises make others far-sighted. All gloss over moments of their present. The actors depicting these people must compensate for their mistakes by becoming more conscious of those things their characters miss. No one will ever see the world of Lear in quite the same way as these twelve actors. Their opened eyes have made a 400-year-old play breathe and come alive. During the performance today, we hope to share with you the things we have seen and the unique journey we have made.
To see better requires the Kents of the world, those whose commitment to uncompromising reality challenges and inspires the people fortunate enough to be around them. Working on this production has made me even more grateful to “the true blanks” of my eye who push me to ask difficult questions, to face even more difficult truths and yet never allow me to forget how beautiful this flawed world really is. This show, or at least my small part of it, is for them.

- Katie Logan, Director

Video of the cast singing the opening song from our production of King Lear

CAST
Kent: Caroline Brent
Beggar/Ensemble: Joan Cummins
Albany/Servant 2: Mark Guthrie

Goneril: Lee Havlicek
Gloucester:
Matthew Minnicino

Oswald/Burgundy: Amalia Oswald
Edmund/Soldier:
Julia Sears

Regan/Knight 1: Samantha Sheahan
King Lear: Natasha Solomon
Cordelia/Knight 4/Servant 1/Old Man: Rebecca Speas
Cornwall/Knight 2/Doctor: Mark Tucker
Edgar: Kelley Van Dilla
Fool/France/Herald/Captain: Nico Zevallos

CREW
Director: Katie Logan
Assistant Director: Quill Nebeker-Monch
Stage Manager: Allison Miller
Assistant Stage Manager: Olivia Meyers
Assistant Stage Manager:
Maria Raffaele
Costume Designer: MaryLynne Smith
Set Designer:
Andrew Derbyshire
Lighting Designer
: Michael Gibbs
Dramaturg: Joan Cummins
Fight Choreographer:
Julia Sears
House Manager:
Mollie Welborn
Production Assistant: Micheal Van Ness

Measure for Measure
By William Shakespeare
Directed By Elizabeth Nearing

“I suppose we are made to be no stronger than faults may shake our frames”


Measure for Measure actors Mark Tucker and Julia Sears

Measure for Measure is not one person’s story, but rather the story of everybody in the community of Vienna. Despite the apparent conflict between those who represent the law and their unruly subjects, the story cannot be so simplified. Each character remains intensely personally involved, abortively attempting to solve their problems by skipping straight to the solution. Thus, rather than being a grand story of one tragically flawed human being, Measure for Measure is instead a powerful story about many slightly flawed human beings, something closer to how our faults, unfulfilled desires, and blundering actions create problems in daily life.

When I read the play for the first time I fell in love with the tragedy of it. In the process of putting the show on, I have fallen in love with the comedy as well. It is easy to get caught up in the moral dilemmas of the Duke, Angelo, Isabella and Claudio. However, on stage it is impossible to ignore the influence of the bawds and the clowns. The two worlds are intricately interwoven and just as we see tragedy in the deconstruction of the clowns’ world we must also see comedy in the stilted awkwardness of those in power. The weight of what is at stake in the intimate scenes of the upper class makes the discovery of humor in the same scenes uncomfortable.

How can we laugh at the way a woman is asked to give up her virginity or let her brother die when we understand the enormity of the choice? Or when we watch the frivolity with which people treat life and death when we know the consequences? Today there are tyrants worldwide who have the power to use such frivolity to kill or forgive at will. Part of the power behind Measure for Measure is in its ability to remind us that however easy it is to distance ourselves from devastation that happens to others, we must still be aware of how closely any one act affects a great number of people.

Each of us has to deal with our own set of faults. Are we ever really strong enough to keep them from shaking our frames? However much we may cringe at the tragedy in our world, it is vitally important that we are also able to laugh.

- Elizabeth Nearing, Director, and Joan Cummins, Assistant Director

CAST
Juliet/Francisca/Abhorson/Servant: Caroline Brent
Ensemble: Joan Cummins
Lucio: Mark Guthrie
Mariana/Attendants: Lee Havlicek
Claudio/Elbow:
Matthew Minnicino
Mistress Overdone/Friar Peter: Amalia Oswald
Isabella:
Julia Sears
Escalus/Friar Thomas: Samantha Sheahan
Messenger/Servant/Ensemble: Natasha Solomon
Provost: Rebecca Speas
Angelo/Barnadine: Mark Tucker
Duke Vincentio: Kelley Van Dilla
Pompey:Nico Zevallos

CREW
Director: Elizabeth Nearing
Assistant Director: Joan Cummins
Stage Manager: Allison Miller
Assistant Stage Manager: Olivia Myers
Assistant Stage Manager:
Maria Raffaele
Costume Designer: MaryLynne Smith
Set Designer:
Andrew Derbyshire
Lighting Designer
: Michael Gibbs
Dramaturg: Quill Nebeker-Monch
House Manager:
Mollie Welborn
Program Design
: Frances Koogler
Program Cover Art:
Kelley Van Dilla
Production Assistant: Micheal Van Ness