King Lear   2008

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Robert Gardner as King Lear. All photos on this page by Matt Rein, unless otherwise credited.
Kurt Schweickhardt as Lear and Marianna Caldwell as Edgar
Eric Avery as Edmund and Kristopher Lencowski as Edgar
Angela Mannella and Diane Mountford as Regan and Cornwall.
Amy Schweickhardt as Cordelia
Eric Avery and Elena Giannetti as Edmund and Goneril.
Ben Mattson as Edmund and Amanda Whisner as Goneril.
Eric Avery, Angela Mannella and Amanda Whisner as Edmund, Regan and Goneril. Photo by Diane Mountford.

About the Production
King Lear has three daughters and one crown to leave behind. His journey through storms and madness toward understanding and compassion has moved generations of theatergoers, and the company spent a year walking in his shoes, leading to performances in March 2008.

The Year of Lear project was a return to MSP's roots, when we met weekly to workshop and explore scenes in depth. The Year of Lear was intended to extend the company's methodology, build a truly collaborative process and create a clear and compelling production.

The production of King Lear featured a kind of inverse rotating repertory, with multiple cast combinations within the same play. Most of the major roles in the play were double-cast, allowing each member of the company a meaty character to dig into and giving the audience the opportunity to experience a different show at each performance. Company members portrayed the other roles in the play on nights when they were not playing their major role. This approach proved interesting for both the company and the audience, with many audience members returning for multiple peformances to see specific combinations of actors.

King Lear peformed at Old Arizona Studios on Nicollet Avenue from March 13-30, 2008. The calendar below details who played which roles at which performances.

In King Lear, Shakespeare makes several pleas for the equitable distribution of human wealth and resources. To honor this, Minnesota Shakespeare Project partnered with Simpson Housing to offer a $2 ticket discount to audience members who brought a donation of warm socks or long underwear for Simpson Housing.

For over 25 years, Simpson Housing, just around the corner from Old Arizona at 28th and 1st, has met the needs of members of our community who are homeless. They greet each shelter guest by name and offer a measure of dignity and support to all they serve.


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Cast & Crew

Eric Avery - Edmund (Mar. 13, 16, 21, 24, 27, 29) / Burgundy, etc (Other perfs.)
Marianna Caldwell - Edgar (Mar. 14, 16, 21, 22, 27, 30) / France, Curan (Other Perfs.)
Michelle Cassioppi* - Gloucester (Mar. 14, 16, 21, 24, 29, 30) / Albany (Other Perfs.)
Abby DeSanto - CORDELIA (Mar. 13, 16, 22, 24, 28, 29) / OSWALD (Other Perfs.)
Todd Edwards – set and sound design
Charles Fraser* – assistant stage manager
Robert Gardner - KING LEAR (Mar. 13, 15, 21, 24, 27, 29) / knight, etc (other perfs.)
MaryBeth Gagner – costume design
Elena Giannetti - Goneril (Mar. 14, 20, 22, 24, 27, 30) / CAPTAIN, etc (Other Perfs.)
Craig Gottschalk – LIGHTING DESIGN
Kristopher Lencowski - Edgar (Mar. 13, 15, 20, 24, 28, 29) / France, Curran (other perfs.)
Angela Mannella*– REGAN (Mar. 13, 14, 20, 22, 27, 29) / doctor, etc (other perfs.)
Ben Mattson – EDMUND (Mar. 14, 15, 20, 22, 28, 30) / Burgundy, etc (Other perfs.)
Diane Mountford* - KENT (Mar. 15, 16, 20, 24, 29, 30) / CORNWALL (other perfs.)
Don Preston – fights
James Rodriguez - Kent (Mar. 13, 14, 21, 22, 27, 28) / CORNWALL (other perfs.)
Jane Schrantz - the FOOL (all performances)
Amy Schweickhardt - Cordelia (Mar. 14, 15, 20, 21, 27, 30) / OSWALD (Other Perfs.)
Kurt Schweickhardt* - King lear (Mar. 14, 16, 20, 22, 28, 30) / knight, etc (other perfs.)
Megan West* – stage manager
Joe Wiener – gloucester (Mar. 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 28) / Albany (Other Perfs.)
Amanda Whisner – goneril (Mar. 13, 15, 16, 21, 28, 29) / CAPTAIN, etc (Other Perfs.)
Christine Winkler - Regan (Mar. 15, 16, 21, 24, 28, 30) / doctor, etc (other perfs.)
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

©2008, Minnesota Shakespeare Project