The Ensemble Shakespeare Theater is proud to announce its new show, Lear’s Shadow, opening April 15th at the Lineage Performing Arts Center in Pasadena. Shakespeare’s King Lear serves as the backdrop for Lear’s Shadow, a story about strengthening friendship, overcoming loss, and the power of theater, that will pique the interest of Shakespeare newbies and experts alike. The original production runs every weekend from April 15th through May 6th.
The play begins in the days following an accident, as two good friends from a modern-day theater company cope with a shared loss, while exploring their issue-laden relationship. As the two friends navigate their grief and their problematic friendship, they turn their frustration with each other into an argument about Shakespeare’s King Lear, acting out scenes to prove their points, whipping the audience back and forth from present day to medieval England. The play’s three stars, David Blue (“Eli Wallace” from Stargate: Universe, and “Cliff St. Paul” from Ugly Betty), Fred Cross (American Crime,The Last Ship, The Office), and newcomer Katie Peabody seamlessly pivot between 400 year-old verse and modern colloquial speech. Brian Elerding, Artistic Director of the Ensemble, wrote and directed.
The Ensemble’s last three works focused on remixing and rearranging Shakespeare’s texts. In Lear’s Shadow, Shakespeare serves less as source material and more as the setting for a simple but challenging contemporary story. The entire play takes place in real time, set in an actual theater rehearsal space in Pasadena, with the audience sitting at the rehearsal tables in the midst of the action.
“I’m lucky,” says director Brian Elerding, “because at every rehearsal I get to see these incredible actors in really challenging material–they have a play with no breaks, pages and pages of Shakespeare scattered throughout, and an audience that’s seated all around them. Luckily, David, Fred and Katie are three of the most talented actors I know, so my job as director has been wonderfully easy.”
Lear’s Shadow is made possible in part by the City of Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division, and by the Nancy E. Barton Foundation.
ABOUT THE ENSEMBLE SHAKESPEARE THEATER
The Ensemble is a company dedicated to intimate, inspiring contemporary performances for all ages and backgrounds. In the Ensemble’s three years as a company they have taken a play to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, partnered in performance for three seasons with Descanso Gardens, and this summer they will create their first feature film.
HOW TO ATTEND
The Ensemble is dedicated to making the theater accessible to all. For group rates or scholarships, email firstname.lastname@example.org. General admission tickets are $12 limited presale (only the very first orders), $18 secondary presale, and $25 standard (all other online tickets) and at the door. Due to cursing in the script, this performance is recommended for mature audiences. The estimated runtime is 70 minutes, no intermission.
Tickets are available online at www.ensembleshakes.org.
Lineage Performing Arts Center 89 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105
Dates: APRIL 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30, MAY 5, 6.
Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 7:30.