Compagnia de’ Colombari: King Lear

Compagnia de’ Colombari’s KING LEAR, adapted and directed by Karin Coonrod, is a raw, primal, and potent “paper crown” Lear that strips down the Shakespearian classic to its essence. An ensemble of ten actors ranging in age and gender all embody King Lear at the beginning. One by one, they strip off their paper crowns, transform into other characters, and conduct a take-over of the text and the theatre space. Spreading across the play’s treacherous psychic cartography, the performers dig deep into the internal and external voyage of a mighty king who loses and then finds himself again after arduous challenges.

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Compagnia de' Colombari

In 2004, Compagnia de' Colombari was born in Orvieto, Italy, where the company re-imagined the medieval mystery plays and performed them in the streets and piazzas. Having revitalized the tradition of theater during Orvieto's annual Corpus Christi Festival, the company launched a parallel theatrical experience in its home base of New York City called Strangers & Other Angels. Since 2008, the company created and performed More Or Less I Am (drawn entirely from Whitman's "Song of Myself"), Everything That Rises Must Converge (from the Flannery O'Connor short story), The World Is Round Is Round Is Round (based on Gertrude Stein's story); Andras Visky's Giulia; Monteverdi's Orfeo; Karin Coonrod's texts&beheadings/ElizabethR; Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice in Venice, Italy; WoW! (Whitman on Walls!) a hybrid of More Or Less I Am films with local active poets reciting their work around the country and worldwide.

Karin Coonrod

Founding Director of Compagnia de’ Colombari, KC is a theater maker whose work has been witnessed across the U.S. and around the world. She has developed a wide variety of pieces ranging from reinvented classical plays to new plays, opera, adaptations and new translations. Notable productions include Henry VI, Love's Labor's Lost (Public Theater, NYSF); King John, Julius Caesar (TFANA); Enrico IV (A.R.T); Everything That Rises Must Converge (NYTW); texts&beheadings/ElizabethR (Colombari at Folger Theatre in DC and BAM/Next Wave Festival); and The Merchant of Venice (Colombari with Ca' Foscari in Venice Ghetto, Italy and on tour in North America). KC and the company launched a new tradition of theater in Orvieto, Italy with the medieval mystery plays and many theatrical actions in prisons, jails, schools, pubs, libraries, parks, streets, museums, piers, churches as well as theaters. Presence and theatrical provocation have been of deepest importance in the ongoing work with all the artists of Colombari.

Thank You to our King Lear Champion Circle!

Judy and Steve August
Gail Brekke and Jim Vlock
Bob & Priscilla Dannies
Linda and Gary Friedlaender
Gordon and Shelley Geballe
David Jaffe
Betsy Sledge
Alinor Sterling and Steve Mentz
Leonardo H. Suzio & John Hansen

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