Wyoming Arts Council

Casper College's "King Lear" to be set in modern Middle East


From a Casper College press release:

The first play for 2009 on the McMurry Mainstage at Casper College will be Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” replacing the originally announced “Twelfth Night.”

“I decided to change the play from ‘Twelfth Night’ to ‘King Lear’ for several reasons,” said Tom Empey, director. “I have always wanted to do ‘King Lear’ and since I will be directing for only one more season, it was now or never. I simply cannot escape the intrigue of this play about a world gone mad, a world in chaos.”

In addition, Empey believes that the current theatre student population is more suited to “King Lear.” Finally, had he chosen to do Shakespeare two years in a row, “then the rotation would have been thrown off. We continue our tradition of producing Shakespeare every other year so that every student will have the opportunity to work with the ‘Master Playwright’ during their two years at Casper College. Shakespeare has become a tradition audiences seem to enjoy as they attend in surprising numbers,” he said.

Shakespeare’s powerful and famous tragedy, considered by many to be among his greatest works, will be set “in the modern Middle East. A play about the division of land within a kingdom seems to reflect the pressures and strains of that troubled region,” noted Empey.

“King Lear” will be presented on the McMurry Mainstage of the Gertrude Krampert Theatre Complex on Feb. 27-28, and March 3-7 each night at 7:30. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students 5-18.

Tickets for “King Lear” will go on sale to the general public on Monday, Feb. 23. Tickets may be purchased at the box office from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 307-268-2500 or 1-800-442-2963, ext. 2500, or at the box office one hour before each show.

Editor’s Note: Tom Empey is a past board member for the Wyoming Arts Council and served as its chair for two years.


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