Taking Leave of King Lear

This fall I’m directing an amazing play, Taking Leave, by Nagle Jackson.

When I read the script last year, I was blown away by its sense of truth, its humor, and its poignancy.

I’m a guy who is very into theater.  I love plays, and I would love to direct and perform in plays that probably wouldn’t suit our small town audience.  I’m always reading plays.  But not Shakespeare.  Not entirely anyway.  One I got all the way through and really enjoyed is “As You Like It.”  I have some ideas about that one, but that’s for another day.

I had never read Shakespeare’s King Lear, nor studied it, not had any idea what it was about, who the characters are, what happens to whom, and so on.  The main character in Taking Leave, Eliot Pryne, was, until getting Alzheimer’s, one of the nation’s leading experts on King Lear.  Therefore I assumed, at the very least, that Taking Leave contained references to King Lear.  But it’s apparent that there are more references than I thought, and I’ve caught close to zero of them.

So it’s time to slog through King Lear.  I say slog not because of the quality of the play, but because of my non-existent grasp of the dialect of the day.

Oh well, at least I’ll be able to count myself among the crowd that has read King Lear.  I hear it’s fairly small and exclusive.

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