by Gail Burns and Roseann Cane
King Lear runs from June 16–August 19 at the Founder’s Theatre in Lenox, MA
Roseann Cane: This was my perfect night at the theater: a startling, vigorous production of a well-known and very familiar play that challenges my preconceptions.
Gail Burns: Director Rebecca Holderness has set this stunning production of “King Lear” in Russia at the time when the old Tsarist regime was crumbling and revolution was in the air. This sits well with the play’s theme of the relentless usurpation of the older generation by the young.
Roseann: Holderness explains, in her Director’s Note in the program, that she chose to set “King Lear” in 1906 Russia “…in order to recall a time in recent memory when the errors…of a great and passionate ruler led to the demise of a family, an empire, and a way of life.” And so she enhanced my already profound love of this play by revitalizing the archetypal themes, personal and collective. She made me see “King Lear” with new eyes. (That would be a really nasty pun if I’d intended it!)