Win Tickets ($60): Bag & Baggage Presents Lear @ The Venetian Theatre | Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tragedy

We are giving away a pair of tickets to Bag & Baggage Presents Lear @ The Venetian Theatre in March. To win, comment on this post why you’d like to attend. Winner will be drawn and emailed Friday, March 14.

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From our sponsors:
Bag n Baggage Lear @ Venetian TheatreLear
March 6-23, 2014
Thursdays-Saturdays 7:30 p.m. | Sundays 2 p.m.
$20-30 | All Ages
Tickets: bagnbaggage.org

The Venetian Theatre
253 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
(503) 693-3953 | More info: venetiantheatre.com

The story of the mad king and his faithless daughters told by William Shakespeare in King Lear is, in fact, a much older tale. Shakespeare relied on a number of older sources for his play, including the anonymous play The True Chronicle History of King Leir and His Three Daughters which was published and performed 12 years before the first recorded production of the Bard of Avon’s sweeping political tragedy.

Bag&Baggage Productions’ Artistic Director Scott Palmer returns to this original source material as the inspiration for his major adaptation of King Lear, simply entitled Lear, opening at the Venetian Theatre in Hillsboro on March 6 and running through March 23, 2014.

“I originally adapted the play in 2003 when I was the Artistic Director of Glasgow Repertory Company in Scotland,” said Palmer. “My main interest in the original King Leir was in how much smaller and more intimate the family tragedy was portrayed. Shakespeare took that family tragedy and expanded it into a much grander, much more political tale, but at the heart of the story is a great man destroyed by age and madness and the impact that has on his children. Our Lear tells that story.”

Performed twice in Scotland (once in 2003 and again in 2005), the play was hailed by The Scotsman Newspaper as a “21st Century Lear to cherish” and “it’s rare to see a production that engages so thoroughly and creatively with the substance of a great Shakespeare text.”

Lear features a cast of only 5 actors who play King Lear, his three daughters (the beloved Cordelia and her less-favored sisters Goneril and Regan) alongside the nearly forgotten character of Perillus (featured in the original sources) who is Lear’s foster son and was the inspiration for Shakespeare’s character Kent. Lear contains many of the original storylines from Shakespeare’s original, but is much more focused on the intimate family dynamics between Lear and his daughters as they grapple with the implications of their father’s madness and the chaos it creates within their lives and the kingdom. The many subplots around Edmund and Edgar have been cut, replaced with snippets of a range of original materials and texts inspired by Shakespeare.

Adding to the power of the performance will be an original score composed by Tylor Neist, performed live each night by members of Bridgetown Orchestra. Neist composed and performed the critically acclaimed score for one of Palmer’s other adaptations, Kabuki-Titus, in the summer of 2012. Neist was also recently seen as the Fiddler in Portland Center Stage’s Fiddler on the Roof, performing live during each performance.

“It is a complicated process,” said Palmer who has a growing reputation for re-imagining lost Shakespearean adaptations. Palmer’s previous work has included a glam-rock restaging of the Restoration-era version of Dryden and Davenant’s The Tempest, or the Enchanted Isle and a black and white 1950s television version of John Dennis’ 16th century retelling of The Merry Wives of Windsor. “There are so many places to look for Shakespeare’s inspiration, and so much incredible and interesting material out there, and that is all before you start adding in live music and an original score.”

Among the other sources Palmer used were Geoffrey Monmouth’s 1135 text The History of the Kings of Britain, Raphael Holished’s Chronicles written in 1577, Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queen from 1590 and the later, Georgian-era adaptation King Lear’s Wife by the nearly completely forgotten playwright Gordon Bottomley.

“It’s like a jigsaw puzzle,” says Palmer. “There are all of these amazing pieces of text, snippets of long forgotten poetry and verse, all of which influenced and shaped Shakespeare’s tale. I love the challenge of putting them back together and seeing what kind of new picture will be made.”

The production stars Kevin Connell (recently seen as Henry Higgins in Broadway Rose’s production of My Fair Lady and as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra for Northwest Classical) in the title role. Joining Kevin in the cast are Stephanie Leppert (most recently seen in White Christmas at Lakewood Theatre and as Portia in Bag&Baggage’s all-female Julius Caesar) as Cordelia, Rebecca Ridenour (who played Brutus in B&B’s Caesar and has performed with Solwelu Theatre, Post5 and Northwest Classical) as Goneril, Jessi Walters (who played the Soothsayer in B&B’s Caesar and has performed with Oregon Repertory Theatre and Northwest Children’s Theatre) and Benjamin Farmer (a Bag&Baggage Resident Acting Company Member who has been seen recently in B&B performances of Rough Crossing, Kabuki-Titus and A Christmas Carol) as Perillus. Scenic Design by Megan Wilkerson (who has designed most recently for ART’s Xmas Unplugged and B&B’s It’s A (somewhat) Wonderful Life and The Great Gatsby) with costume designs by Bag&Baggage’s Resident Costumer Designer Melissa Heller.

Lear opens on March 6, 2014 and runs until March 23, 2014 at The Venetian Theatre in downtown Hillsboro. More information can be found online at www.bagnbaggage.org or by calling the Bag&Baggage Box Office at 503 345 9590.

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36 Responses to Win Tickets ($60): Bag & Baggage Presents Lear @ The Venetian Theatre | Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Tragedy

  1. Todd Mintz March 4, 2014 at 16:52 #

    I was an English Major who has read probably 75% of Shakespeare’s plays. Lear is my favorite. I’d love to take my wife to see this.

  2. Bill W. March 5, 2014 at 14:40 #

    I am sorely in need of some Shakespeare. And theater. Let’s go!

  3. Whitnee Goode March 5, 2014 at 21:06 #

    This sounds wonderful! I would love to win a couple tickets!

  4. Yume March 5, 2014 at 22:46 #

    I’d like to start seeing more plays. This looks interesting!

  5. Danielle March 6, 2014 at 10:02 #

    While King Lear was not my favorite Shakespeare play (Othello was), I would like to see this adaptation because I bet they did it better. Shakespeare made King Lear more politically centered (as he did with many of his works), it will be nice to see Lear with less of that mucking up the family tragedy.

  6. Stacey March 6, 2014 at 15:42 #

    As an English major, I took every Shakespeare class that my college offered. I so enjoy seeing live Shakespeare productions, and I don’t think I have ever seen King Lear live. I would love to win.

  7. J March 6, 2014 at 15:50 #

    I’m a fan of both Shakespeare and old fairy tales. I’d love to see how this interpretation compares to other stories involving a father and three daughters, such as “Cap o’Rushes” And I would invite my actor friend to attend with me. Thanks!

  8. Kelly March 6, 2014 at 15:59 #

    I love me some Lear! I’ve heard nothing but good things about this adaptation.

  9. Nancy March 6, 2014 at 16:18 #

    Have never seen Lear–and would love to! Thanks for the opportunity!

  10. Abigail Saville March 6, 2014 at 16:35 #

    I would love the opportunity to see this production. My husband and I are trying to become avid theater buffs…but that’s often difficult on a budget. Thank you for offering this gift to the community.

  11. Eric March 6, 2014 at 18:28 #

    How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is To have a thankless child!

    This I would be not, if I wineth.

  12. Jackie March 6, 2014 at 19:26 #

    We will be in Portland on vacation and would like to be able to do free things! This production sounds cool!!! Thanks from Indiana!!!

  13. Frank Krone March 6, 2014 at 19:45 #

    I would like to take my wife to see King Lear, She is the Cordelia of her family, and are her two conniving sisters are just like Regan and Goneril around her demented father! It would hep her to see that Shakespeare wrote about seriously dysfunctional families centuries ago.

  14. Nick McFaddin March 7, 2014 at 09:12 #

    My new wife and I are sorely in need of some culture and a date night, this would be ideal – 2 birds one stone

  15. Jesper Angelo March 7, 2014 at 13:32 #

    Shakespeare. Love him.

  16. Bjoern March 7, 2014 at 15:32 #

    would love to go!

  17. Sache March 7, 2014 at 18:31 #

    Pick me!

  18. Ann March 8, 2014 at 08:07 #

    I love the Venetian! So worth the drive for a wonderful, luxurious venue for movies and plays.

  19. Lauren Scher March 9, 2014 at 18:51 #

    I’d like to win because I’ve heard great things about this theater company!

  20. Cameron March 9, 2014 at 21:52 #

    One of the last people that grew up and still live in Hillsboro end of story… Plus, this would be a great date!

  21. Shelly March 10, 2014 at 12:49 #

    The Venetian is a lovely place to have dinner but I’ve never been to their theater. Sounds like a terrific chance to do both!

  22. JC March 11, 2014 at 10:35 #

    I’m dying to see this King Lear’s adaptation and looking forward to visit the Venetian Theatre for the first time!

    “A man may see how this world goes with no eyes.”

    I can’t wait to see this tragedy.

  23. Jazzmyn March 11, 2014 at 11:34 #

    A recent graduate, I look back on the many classes I sat in. I can say, in all honesty, that Shakespeare earlier and later were my two favorite copurses. I love the art of Shakespeare’s language and the way he was able to expose the complexity of the human psyche with character identities. Like the pieces of a puzzle Shakespeare was strategic in his representation of characters of whom came together to tell a encapsulating story. I forever have a place in my heart for Shakespeare because it was in these stories I found solace among a hectic sometimes stressful day of working two jobs and going to school full time. The material I engaged in brought me joy and satisfaction because in those moments of reading those plays I could relax and step out of my own story for just a moment. Shakespeare’s plays not only broadened my mind but opened my heart to life’s possibilities. I would love nothing more than an opportunity to attend and bring a friend to share the experience with me.

    “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” ― Brandon Sanderson

    Jazzmyn Hunsaker

  24. Gregory Samson March 13, 2014 at 09:55 #

    Local theater Rocks!!!

  25. Coral March 13, 2014 at 11:07 #

    Shakespeare was totally a feminist! ;)

  26. Kimi March 13, 2014 at 14:37 #

    The Bard is my man!

  27. Rebecca March 13, 2014 at 14:48 #

    Tickets! Tickets! My kingdom for some tickets!

  28. Martha March 13, 2014 at 20:16 #

    Bag & Baggage is amazing. And the Venetian has great beer.

  29. bc March 13, 2014 at 20:40 #

    Have really enjoyed several previous B&B productions, and this one is especially appropriate: my wife has two sisters and a patriarch father!

  30. bjoern March 13, 2014 at 22:19 #

    That would be so much fun!

  31. Ben March 13, 2014 at 23:34 #

    When I substitute-taught a h.s. College Prep English class… the instructor left me w/a detailed lesson plan for ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream’. But the kids were laughing from the the first time I ‘thee’-d instead of ‘thou’-d. How sharper than a serpents tooth is a thankless child! Or a classroom full of them.

  32. Jean March 13, 2014 at 23:47 #

    Ah to breath in the words of Shakespeare, to feel the beating of the heart through the words to see the costumes transport us to another time and place. How I miss the world of theater, I use to do costuming for 20 years here in Portland and to be present in the magic once more t’would bedazzling.

  33. Greg March 13, 2014 at 23:47 #

    I’d like to take my girlfriend to this.

  34. Chris Ames March 14, 2014 at 11:04 #

    My family makes Lear’s look like Robert Young’s.

  35. Victoria Gantz March 14, 2014 at 13:42 #

    Please let me win!

  36. Alison March 20, 2014 at 15:58 #

    Bed and Baggage puts on wonderful shows and it has been awhile since I have seen one. It would be wonderful to see their work again.

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