In 1681, Nahum Tate took an “unpolisht jewel” Shakespeare’s King Lear, and modified it for Restoration tastes. The romantic result replaced its original for the next 157 years.
Now rarely seen, Tate’s oddity included romance, added scenes, cut characters, sweeping fights, and a gloriously surprising ending, but still maintains the heart and theme of Shakespeare’s masterwork.
World-renowned scholar, author, and Oxford Don of Early Modern Drama Tiffany Stern returns to her work with the Hidden Room as Head of Research, guiding the project’s exploration and understanding of Restoration Theatre practices.
Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper, Head of Research and Higher Education at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and a Hidden Room board member, lends her authoritative knowledge on gesture to the project. In advance of her book, The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage: Gesture, touch, and the Spectacle of Dismemberment, the Hidden Room will be experimenting with the meaning and application of actor gesture.
Tate’s Lear was unveiled at the American Shakespeare Center’s prestigious Blackfriars Conference before a successful run in Austin. The show is preparing for a US and UK tour in 2017, and is currently scheduling bookings. The Matriarch will gladly discuss touring particulars, if you wish.
The Hidden Room would like to thank with humility our kind supporters: The American Shakespeare Center, the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, and the Creative Fund, as well as a host of individual donors who graciously joined our society and in doing so, encouraged and enabled us to continue this work.
This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department.
Actors: Ryan Crowder, Robert Matney, Joseph Garlock, Judd Farris, Nathan Jerkins, Brock England, Rommel Sulit, Robert Deike, Toby Minor, Jeff Mills, Reagan Tankersley, Jill Swanson, Liz Beckham, Julia Lorenz-Olson, and Jennifer Coy.
Musicians – Howard Burkett, Cesar Osorio, Anna Harris, Jennifer Rose Davis, Barbara Manson
Master of Play – Beth Burns
Master of Research – Tiffany Stern
Master of Gesture Research – Farah Karim-Cooper
Master of Gesture Implementation – Jennifer Rose Davis
Master of Music Research and Direction – Howard Burkett
Master of Stage – Katy Taylor
Asst. Master of Stage – Rachel Steed
Master of Costume Design – Jenny McNee
Master of Shoe, Wig, and Accoutrement – Jennifer Rose Davis
Asst. Master of Costume Design – Jennifer Rose Davis
Design Assistant – Liz Schneider
Master of Fight – Toby Minor
Master of Props – Marco Noyola
Master of Art – Jennymarie Jemison
Asst. to the Matriarch – Kenneth Williams
Asst. Dramaturg – Stephanie Donowho
Stitchers – Ms. Moore, Ms. Bechtol
Master of Program Design – Emily Rankin
an absolutely brilliant piece of theatre history and a glorious achievement"-Lynn Beaver, BroadwayWorld
one melts into the pleasures of an astoundingly rich evening of theatre"-Michael Meigs, Central Live Texas Theatre
a cast of actors working at the very top of their meticulous and compelling craft"-Wayne Allen Brenner, Austin Chronicle
impeccably produced and researched, expertly acted, and driven with unique precision"-Ryan E. Johnson, Austin Examiner
proves fascinating… in the Hidden Room’s latest deep-dive into theatre arcana"-Robert Faires, Austin Chronicle
Lear strikes gold!"-Pearson Kashlak, Austin Entertainment