a Restoration Revision of Shakespeare’s Classic Tragedy (with less tragedy)



in a Hidden Room somewhere within the York Rite Masonic Hall

311 W. 7th Street, Austin TX  78701

Every weekend in November:  Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm,  Sundays at 5pm

Special Industry Night, Thursday Nov 12th, 8pm

Running time: 180 mins.

In 1681, Nahum Tate took an “unpolisht jewel” Shakespeare’s King Lear, and revised it for Restoration tastes.  The romantic result replaces its original for 157 years.

Now rarely seen, Tate’s oddity dominated the English stage eclipsing Shakespeare’s version until the 1800’s.  With music, romance, added scenes, cut characters, sweeping fights, and a gloriously surprising ending, Tate’s Lear is a wild romp that maintains the the heart and feel of Shakespeare’s classic.

World-renowned scholar, author, and Oxford Professor of Early Modern Drama Tiffany Stern returns to her work the Hidden Room as head of research, guiding the production’s exploration and understanding of Restoration theatre practices.

Dr. Farah Karim-Cooper (head of Research and Higher Education at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London and HR board member) lends her expertise in gesture to the project.  In advance of Dr.Karim-Cooper’s book The Hand on the Shakespearean Stage: Gesture, Touch, and the Spectacle of Dismemberment our actors will experiment with the meaning and application of gestural acting from the period.

Some of Austin’s most celebrated actors, designers, and musicians are coming together for Tate’s Lear.  The cast includes, Ryan Crowder, Robert Matney, Liz Beckham, Judd Farris, Julia Lorenz-Olson, Nathan Jerkins, Brock England, Jill Swanson, Toby Minor, Rommel Sulit, Robert Deike, Jill Swanson, Jeff Mills, and Reagan Tankersley.  The American Shakespeare Center’s Jenny McNee takes on costumes with partnership from our own Jennifer Rose Davis.  Musician Howard Burkett leads the charge on music research and design.  Beth Burns directs.

Tate’s Lear unveils scenes at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Conference November 1st at 11am before returning to Austin for its full run.