Students from SMU's Meadows School of the Arts are performing in Shakespear's "King Lear" at the Dallas Theater Center. The production runs through February 18, 2013. The following is from the December 21, 2012, edition of Broadway World.
January 18, 2013
Dallas Theater Center will conclude its four-year Shakespeare cycle with one of the playwright's greatest tragedies King Lear, a co-production with Trinity Repertory Company and directed by DTC artistic director Kevin Moriarty. This production brings together members of DTC's and Trinity Rep's acting companies for the first time in years, resulting in a masterfully acted play about family, aging and the responsibilities of power.
King Lear opens for previews on Friday, January 18 and runs through Sunday, February 18. Single tickets to King Lear are on sale now at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org and by phone at (214) 880-0202.
When this production of King Lear premiered in Providence, RI in September, theater critics throughout New England raved about the collaboration between the two companies, the clarity of the story telling and the emotional impact of the piece.
"It's a wild and woolly Lear," wrote The Providence Journal's Channing Gray. "Never does the intensity let up," in a production he described as "riveting theater." Tracey Minkin of GoLocalProv.com agreed, saying "this is Trinity's greatest artistic achievement in years." Christie Vela's Goneril "is especially steely," wrote Veronica Bruscini of BroadwayWorld.com and Brian McEleney "is a superior king... bodacious and bold," said Bill Gale of Rhode Island NPR.
Trinity Rep Acting Company member Brian McEleney stars as the aging Lear who divides his kingdom among his daughters, giving the largest share to the daughter who loves him best. Eldest daughters Goneril (DTC's Christie Vela) and Regan (Trinity Rep's Angela Brazil) flatter their father, while youngest daughter Cordelia (DTC's Abbey Siegworth) speaks honestly of her love. Lear is angered by Cordelia's response and gives his kingdom to Goneril and Regan. Once in power, their true feelings about their father become known and their betrayal sets the tragic tone for the rest of the play.
Additional Brierley Resident Acting Company members include Hassan El-Amin (Earl of Kent), Chamblee Ferguson (Duke of Cornwell), Lee Trull (Edmund) and Steven Michael Walters (Edgar). Also from Trinity Rep are Stephen Berenson (The Fool), Phyllis Kay (Gloucester), FrEd Sullivan, Jr. (Duke of Oswald) and Joe Wilson, Jr. (Duke of Albany). Rounding out the cast are SMU Meadows School of the Arts students Adam A. Anderson, Russell Jonas, BranDon Potter and Steve Torres.
"I have wanted to direct a production that combines the rich talents of DTC and Trinity Rep's acting companies for some time," says Moriarty. "King Lear presented the perfect opportunity to unite these two theaters in a co-production of one of the greatest tragedies of all-time. The talent of the cast is matched by the design team, which created a unique and unexpected version of Lear's England."
Responsible for the design are set designer Michael McGarty, Trinity Rep resident costume designer William Lane, lighting designer Seth Reiser and sound designers and composers Broken Chord. Together they create a world where the walls come crashing down around the disillusioned king and a rainstorm unlike any the Wyly Theatre has seen before.
This tragedy is the final play in Moriarty's four-year Shakespeare cycle. Other plays in the cycle include The Tempest (romance) in 2011-12; Henry IV (history) in 2010-11 and A Midsummer Night's Dream (comedy) in 2009-10. Like the other plays in the cycle, King Lear received $25,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts' Shakespeare in American Communities: Shakespeare for a New Generation program. As part of this program, more than 2,500 students and teachers from public and private schools across North Texas will see, for free or at a highly reduced price, this 16-person cast delve into some of the richest characters in the English language as they investigate themes of loyalty, betrayal, power, cruelty and affection.
King Lear begins previews on Friday, January 18 at 8:00pm with a Pay-What-You-Can performance. Tickets to this performance will be available for purchase online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org. Any unsold tickets to the PWYC performance will be available for purchase at the Wyly Theatre box office the night of the show. DTC's Come Early program will take place before every performance. Patrons will have the opportunity to learn about the play prior to viewing the production. DTC's Stay Late program will take place after each performance. Patrons will have the opportunity to engage with artists, learn about the production and share insights about the play in a lively discussion. Details for Come Early and Stay Late are available online. Tickets for King Lear are on sale now. Ticket prices start at $15 and are available online at www.DallasTheaterCenter.org or by phone at (214) 880-0202.
ADAM A. ANDERSON (Herald) is a thriving young talent currently pursuing a BFA in theater from Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. Adam has had the opportunity to work with many talented artists: Patricia McGregor (Blues for Mr. Charlie); Stan Wojewodski (The Shipment); Will Power (various); and Bill T. Jones (HBO's Masterclass).
Stephen Berenson (Fool) DTC debut. 23 seasons at Trinity Rep including: The Merchant of Venice (Shylock); Absurd Person Singular(Sydney); Twelfth Night (Feste); Cabaret (Schultz); Paris by Night (Harry); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck); Into the Woods (Jack); A Christmas Carol (Scrooge). Other theaters: NYC's Town Hall; BAM; Kennedy Center; 17 summers with Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble; tours in the United States and Canada; appearances at the White House and on a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other: Director oF Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs and member of the Acting faculty; New England Theatre Conference Award; Providence Mayor Citation; Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship.
Angela Brazil (Regan, Lear's second daughter) DTC debut. 13 seasons at Trinity Rep including: The Crucible (Elizabeth Proctor); His Girl Friday (Hildy Johnson); Absurd Person Singular (Jane); The Clean House (Matilde); Indoor/Outdoor (Samantha); A Delicate Balance (Julia); Blithe Spirit (Ruth); The Long Christmas Ride Home (Claire); Cloud Nine (Edward and Victoria); and Homebody/Kabul (Priscilla). Other favorites: Cherry Orchard, The Henriad, and The Cider House Rules. Other theaters: Long Wharf Theatre; Berkeley Rep; Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble; and Riverside Theatre. Ms. Brazil teaches at Clark University.
Hassan El-Amin (Earl of Kent) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and Community Artist at DTC, where his credits include: A Christmas Carol; God of Carnage; The Wiz; Henry IV; and Death of a Salesman. Regional: Fences; Seven Guitars; Radio Golf; Jitney; Blues for an Alabama Sky; A Raisin in the Sun; The Lion King; The Tempest; Julius Caesar; King Lear; Othello; Trinity Rep; Kennedy Center; Mark Taper Forum; Goodman Theatre; Arena Stage; Guthrie Theatre; ALLIANCE THEATRE; Huntington Theatre; Denver Theatre Center; Portland Center Stage; Milwaukee Repertory; San Diego Repertory; Penumbra Theatre; Colorado, Oregon, and Utah Shakespeare Festivals. Film/TV: E-Ring (NBC). Soundtracks: Tears of the Sun; The Wild. MFA, University of Delaware.
Chamblee Ferguson (Duke of Cornwall, Regan's husband) is a long-time DTC performer and a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company. Selected DTC: A Christmas Carol; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Tigers Be Still; The Tempest; Cabaret; A Midsummer Night's Dream; The Taming of the Shrew; and Twelfth Night. He has worked at numerous theaters nationally. Local theaters include: Stage West; Lyric Stage; Circle Theater; WaterTower Theater; Casa Mañana; Dallas Children's Theater; and Uptown Players. Film/TV credits include: Chasing Shakespeare; Friday Night Lights; The Chase; Prison Break; A Scanner Darkly; Walker, Texas Ranger; and PBS's Wishbone. Chamblee was a 2011 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow and is a DFW Theater Critic's Award recipient. MFA, SMU.
Phyllis Kay (Earl of Gloucester) DTC debut. A Trinity Rep company member since 1991, Ms. Kay's favorites there include: Macbeth ;Lend Me a Tenor; One for the Money; Angels in America; We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!; The Beauty Queen of Leenane; The Cider House Rules; The Merry Wives of Windsor; Cherry Orchard; All the King's Men; and Cabaret. She has also worked at several regional theaters. Film: Smithereens; By a Thread; FederAl Hill; Brooklyn Rules; Meet Dave; The Proposal; Fairhaven. TV: Miller's Court; Law & Order; The Sopranos; Body of Proof. Ms. Kay attended Emerson College, L'Université de Lausanne and Brown University. She is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse.
RUSSELL JONAS (King of France, Cordelia's suitor and then husband) is thrilled to make his DTC debut. NYC, DC, and regional credits include: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Ambassador Theatre, Richmond Shepard Theatre, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Dallas Children's Theater (DCT), and DCT National Touring Co. Russell is an MFA Acting student at SMU where he teaches the Art of Acting. He graduated magna cum laude from George Washington University.
Brian McEleney (Lear, King of Britain) DTC debut. Over 75 plays at Trinity Rep, including: Richard II; Richard III; The Completely Fictional - Utterly True - Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe; The Odd Couple; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; The Cider House Rules; Angels in America; Long Day's Journey Into Night; The Merry Wives of Windsor; The Threepenny Opera; Cherry Orchard; Amadeus. As Trinity Rep Associate Director he has directed over 15 productions including: Absurd Person Singular; The Crucible; Twelfth Night; The Dreams of Antigone; A Raisin in the Sun; All the King's Men; Our Town; Hamlet; and Measure for Measure. Head oF Brown/Trinity Rep's MFA Acting Program.
BRANDon Potter (Duke of Burgundy, Cordelia's suitor) DTC debut. Brandon's voice has been heard internationally in cartoons, video games, television and radio commercials, and numerous online outlets. In New York he has appeared onstage at Ensemble Studio Theater, Manhattan Theater Source and Brick Theater. Locally he has worked with DTC alum Jaime Castaneda's company Firestarter Productions on several projects.
Abbey Siegworth (Cordelia, Lear's youngest daughter) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company. DTC: Tigers Be Still; The Tempest; Arsenic and Old Lace; A Christmas Carol; Henry IV; The Beauty Plays (The Shape of Things, reasons to be pretty); A Midsummer Night's Dream; and In the Beginning. Education: BFA University of Illinois; MFA Southern Methodist University.
FrEd Sullivan, Jr. (Oswald, Goneril's steward) DTC debut. 29 seasons and over 110 productions at Trinity Rep, including: His Girl Friday(Walter Burns); Blithe Spirit (Charles, Norton Award recipient); The Odd Couple (Oscar); A Moon for the Misbegotten(Jamie Tyrone); Long Day's Journey into Night (Edmund); Angels in America (Joe). Other Theaters: Commonwealth Shakespeare (Bottom, Jaques, Parolles); A.T.L., Berkeley Rep; NJ Shakespeare. Directing, Trinity Rep: Boeing-Boeing; Shooting Star; A Christmas Carol (2007). Gamm Theatre, 20-plus productions: Hamlet; Boom; Much Ado About Nothing; The Glass Menagerie; Glengarry Glen Ross; Awake and Sing! (Norton Award). Fred teaches acting at RISD, Gamm and Trinity Rep.
STEVE TORRES (Curan) DTC: A Christmas Carol, 2012. Other previous roles include: Cloud 9 (Joshua/Gerry), and Living Out (Bobby) at SMU; Avenue Q (Nicky Puppeteer), Passion Play (Queen Elizabeth I/Hitler/Ronald Reagan),and The Mousetrap (Det. Sgt. Trotter) at Summer Repertory Theatre, Santa Rosa. Steve is a second-year MFA Acting student at SMU.
Lee Trull (Edmund, the Earl of Gloucster's illegitimate son) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and Literary Associate at DTC, where his credits include: Next Fall; The Tempest; Cabaret; Arsenic and Old Lace; The Beauty Plays; A Midsummer Night's Dream; In the Beginning; and A Christmas Carol. Work at other theaters includes: Trinity Rep; Kitchen Dog Theater; Classical Acting Company; Theatre Three; WaterTower Theatre; Stage West; Dallas Children's Theater; and Shakespeare Dallas. Playwright: Huck Finn; Gift of the Magi (CAC); Puppet Boy (Stage West). Mr. Trull is an artistic company member at Kitchen Dog Theater, an artistic consultant for Second Thought Theatre, and he serves on the National New Play Network's Ambassadors Council.
Christie Vela (Goneril, Lear's eldest daughter) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and Master Teacher at DTC, where her credits include: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; God of Carnage; Henry IV; The Beauty Plays, A Christmas Carol and In the Beginning. Christie is an artistic company member with Kitchen Dog Theater where she most recently directed The Turn of the Screw and will next be directing the new play Se Llama Christina by Octavio Solis . She has also worked with several other theaters including: Trinity Rep; Teatro Dallas; Undermain Theatre; Dallas Children's Theater and Shakespeare Dallas.
Joe Wilson, Jr. (Duke of Albany, Goneril's husband) DTC debut. Eight seasons with Trinity Rep, plays include: Boeing-Boeing; The Merchant of Venice; It's a Wonderful Life; Clybourne Park; Camelot; Yellowman; Cabaret; Twelfth Night; The Odd Couple; A Raisin in the Sun; A Christmas Carol; Paris by Night; All the King's Men; The Fantasticks; Cherry Orchard; Topdog/Underdog (2005 I.R.N.E. Award); Ain't Misbehavin' (2006 I.R.N.E. Award); Hamlet. Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar. Off-Broadway: Little Ham and Josephine's Song. Other theaters: Penumbra Theatre; North Shore Music Theatre; ALLIANCE THEATRE; McCarter Theatre Center; Syracuse Stage; Guthrie Theater, Ordway Music Theater, Children's Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre, and American Players Theatre. MFA, University of Minnesota; BA, University of Notre Dame.
STEVEN Michael Walters (Edgar, the Earl of Gloucster's son and heir) is a member of the Brierley Resident Acting Company and co-founder of Second Thought Theatre. DTC: Next Fall; A Christmas Carol; The Tempest; Henry IV; The Beauty Plays and The Good Negro (a co-production with The Public Theatre in New York). Theatrical credits: King Lear (Trinity Rep); Love's Labour's Lost; The Cherry Orchard (Peterborough Players); Proof; Arcadia (Lost Nation Theatre); Jesus Hates Me (Kitchen Dog Theater); Thom Pain (based on nothing); King Ubu, The Glory of Living, Humpty Dumpty (Second Thought Theatre); Romeo and Juliet; As You Like It; A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare Dallas). TV: Chase; My Generation; Friday Night Lights; Trauma; Prison Break.
Kevin Moriarty (Director/Artistic Director) joined Dallas Theater Center in 2007 as the theater's sixth artistic director, where he has directed productions of Next Fall, The Tempest, The Wiz, Henry IV, It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman, Fat Pig, A Midsummer Night's Dream, In the Beginning, and The Who's Tommy. Before joining DTC, Kevin served as the artistic director of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY for seven years, where he directed world premieres of plays by Itamar Moses, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Kenny Finkle and Kathryn Walat, as well as a variety of classics and musicals. From 2002-2007 Kevin was Head of Directing for the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program in Providence, RI, and he was also an associate artist at Trinity Rep, where his productions included The Merry Wives of Windsor (Elliot Norton Award: Best Director), Richard II,Richard III, A Delicate Balance and Nickel and Dimed. Kevin has also directed plays off-Broadway and at regional theaters nation-wide, including the Lamb's Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Virginia Stage Company, Queens Theatre in the Park, the Flea Theatre, HERE, Theatreworks/USA, and the national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar starring Sebastian Bach and Carl Anderson. He is a recipient of a Drama League directing fellowship and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.
Michael McGarty (Scenic Designer) 29 years with Trinity Rep, where favorite productions include: Steel Magnolias; It's a Wonderful Life; Absurd Person Singular; Dead Man's Cell Phone; Cabaret; A Christmas Carol; A Raisin in the Sun; and The Importance of Being Earnest. Broadway: Master Class; Wait Until Dark; and God Said "Ha." Other theaters: Dallas Theater Center; NY Shakespeare Festival; Old Globe Theatre; Pittsburgh Public Theater; NY City Opera; Cincinnati Opera; Opera Pacific; Wilma Theater; Seattle Rep; Geffen Playhouse; Mark Taper Forum; Philadelphia Theater Company; Pasadena Playhouse; Williamstown Theater Festival; Bay Street Theater; and Kennedy Center. Mr. McGarty teaches design at Brown University and RISD.
William Lane (Costume Designer) is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. He has an MFA in theatrical design from Northwestern University. Before moving to Providence, R.I., he was a teacher and freelance designer in Chicago. This is Bill's 34th season as Trinity Rep's resident costume designer. He has designed over 265 productions with this extraordinary company and has had the opportunity of collaborating with all of Trinity Rep's artistic directors: Adrian Hall; Anne Bogart; Richard Jenkins; Oskar Eustis; Amanda Dehnert; and Curt Columbus. Bill shares a home in Providence with his long-time partner and friend Robert Whitney, and their Wheaten Terrier Maggie.
Seth Reiser (Lighting Designer) designs for theater, dance, music, and installations across the country. Recent work includes: An Iliad, Playmakers Repertory; The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, The Public Theater; Tigers be Still, Dallas Theater Center; The Bad Guys, Second Stage; The Whale, Denver Center Theatre; Radio Play, PS 122; the Obie Award-winning The Lily's Revenge, HERE Arts Center; Transition, by Tommy Smith and Reggie Watts; Middlemen, The Human Animals Collective. Seth has also designed for Woolly Mammoth, Berkeley Rep, Juilliard Opera, Seattle Rep, On the Boards, and The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, among others. He is a member of The New Ensemble. Seth received his MFA from New York University and lives in Brooklyn with his wife Mary and daughter Marion. sethreiserdesign.com
Broken Chord (Sound Designers) composes and designs music and sound for theater. New York: Atlantic Theater Company; Cherry Lane Theatre; Juilliard; Keen Company; La Mama E.T.C.; Primary Stages; Manhattan Theatre Club; Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Second Stage Theatre; and Women's Project. Regional: Dallas Theater Center; Berkeley Rep; Geva Theatre Center; Hartford Stage; Huntington Theatre Co.; La Jolla Playhouse; Long Wharf Theatre; Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington D.C.); Weston Playhouse; Westport Country Playhouse; Portland Center Stage; and Passage Theatre Company. brokenchordcollective.com
Thom Jones (Voice and Speech Director) Twelve seasons with Trinity Rep. Regional credits: Dallas Theater Center; The Public Theater; Yale Repertory Company; Huntington Theatre; Actors Theatre of Louisville; McCarter Theatre; Long Wharf Theatre; Alabama Shakespeare Festival: Hangar Theatre, Rites and Reason; and Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep. Thom has coached numerous screen actors, including: Nicole Kidman; Alan Rickman; Robin Williams; James Marsden; Vanessa Redgrave; Alex Pettyfer; Minka Kelly; Ben Mendelsohn; Mel Gibson; Ray Winstone; Brendan Gleeson; Melissa Leo; Blythe Danner; Brian O'Byrne; Sandra Bullock; and Amy Adams.
One of the leading regional theaters in the country, Dallas Theater Center (DTC) performs to an audience of more than 115,000 North Texas residents annually. Founded in 1959, DTC is now a resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and presents its Mainstage season at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, designed by REX/OMA, Joshua Prince-Ramus and Rem Koolhaas and at its original home, the Kalita Humphreys Theater, the only freestanding theater designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Kevin Moriarty and Managing Director Heather M. Kitchen, DTC produces a seven-play subscription series of classics, musicals and new plays and an annual production of A Christmas Carol; extensive education programs, including Project Discovery, SummerStage and partnerships with Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts; and community outreach efforts including leading the DFW Foote Festival and recent collaborations with the Dallas Public Library, Dallas Holocaust Museum, North Texas Food Bank, Dallas Opera, and Dallas Black Dance Theater. Throughout its history, DTC has produced many new works, including The Texas Trilogy by Preston Jones in 1978, Robert Penn Warren's All the King's Men (directed by Adrian Hall) in 1986, and recent premieres of Giant by Michael John LaChiusa and Sybille Pearson, The Trinity River Plays by ReGina Taylor, the revised It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's Superman by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Charles Strouse and Lee Adams, Give It Up! (now titled Lysistrata Jones and recently on Broadway) by Douglas Carter Beane and Lewis Flinn, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Julia Jordan, Laurence O'Keefe and Nell Benjamin and The Good Negro by Tracey Scott Wilson.