T. Charles Erickson


King Lear

Every Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., and Sat. from Feb. 11-April 2
7:30 p.m.
Every Sun. from Feb. 11-April 2
7 p.m.
Every Sat. and Sun. from Feb. 19-April 2
1 p.m.

Being in the enviable position of having two exemplary actors ready to play the lead in one of Shakespeare’s greatest works, the Guthrie has gone an unorthodox route with its new production of King Lear. Rather than selecting one of the two, they’ve cast both in the esteemed title role. Throughout the run, Nathaniel Fuller and Stephen Yoakam, celebrated veterans of Twin Cities theater, will alternate between the tragic king and various supporting characters. Considering the acting challenge presented by Lear, one of the Bard’s most layered creations, the opportunity to contrast the approaches undertaken by these two remarkable performers should be an irresistible proposition. Even without the dual leads, the production would merit excitement, as the Guthrie hasn’t originated a staging of Lear in over 20 years. Recounting the tale of an aging king who, in attempting to secure his legacy by distributing his kingdom among three daughters, falls victim to both his own overweening pride and the maddening infirmities of his deteriorating mind. A study in human frailty that unspools with escalating tension, Lear questions the bonds of family and the nature of identity through a lens of inescapable mortality. Helmed by artistic director Joseph Haj, King Lear looks destined to lend another crowning achievement to the Guthrie’s storied history.