Hope College Theatre will present William Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear" on Wednesday-Saturday, Nov. 19-22, in the DeWitt Center main theatre.
There will be performances at 8 p.m. on each of the four evenings, and a matinee on Saturday, Nov. 22, at 1 p.m.
In the play, Shakespeare weaves a tragic tale of a ruler's intent to divide his kingdom among his three daughters and their spouses. The king decides to reserve the largest portion for the daughter who loves him the most. However, deceived by the flattery of his older daughters, Goneril and Regan, and ignoring his trusted advisor, he banishes his youngest, Cordelia, who solely portrayed sincere love. Awarded the realm, Goneril and Regan eventually succeed in shredding their father's dignity and possessions with eloquent trickery. Realizing his error, Lear succumbs to insanity; however, in his darkest hour he finally comprehends himself internally and understands what it is to be human.
Coinciding with the main plot, the character Gloucester fails to see the evil nature of his illegitimate son, Edmund. Only after suffering blindness, literally, does he finally come to terms with reality and later become rescued from suicide by his disguised son Edgar.
The role of King Lear will be played by New York-based actor and guest artist Tom Tammi. His brother, John Tammi, has been a member of the Hope theatre faculty since 1968 and is the production's director.
Tom Tammi began his career in drama at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minn., and continued his studies at England's Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. His background includes credits on Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theatre, television and various films. His television experience includes "Law and Order," "St. Elsewhere," "Homicide" "As the World Turns." His film credits include "Diner," "Sleepless in Seattle," and "Clear and Present Danger."
In addition, he is a founding member of the Colonnades Theatre Lab, located in New York City, where he performed as an actor and served as associate director and dramaturge.
Scenery and props were co-designed by theatre faculty member, Richard L. Smith and senior Micah J. Maatman of Kalamazoo. Junior Rachel Jamieson of Orchard Lake serves as assistant props chair for the production. Costume design is by theatre faculty member Michelle Bombe, and sophomore Jessica Bodtke of Grand Junction is the assistant costume designer. Lighting and sound design is by faculty member Perry Landes, and junior Bridget Chervenka of Grand Rapids is the assistant lighting designer. Paul K. Anderson of the Hope staff is the technical director.Assistant director of "King Lear" will be senior Megan M. Jewell of Brighton. Stage manager is senior Amanda Joy Weener of Grand Rapids, who will be coordinating the assistant stage managers: sophomore Elise Edwards of Elgin, Ill.; sophomore Myra Green of Laurel, Mont.; and junior Lisa Warmus of Rochester, N.Y.
Gloucester will be portrayed by David Cunningham, who is a professor of religion and director of the Crossroads Project at Hope. Goneril will be senior Michaun Elise Burton of Columbus, Ohio; Regan will be senior Angela Mishler of Pickford; Cordelia will be sophomore Alyssa Garcia of Grand Rapids; Albany will be junior Keith Janofski of Marquette; Cornwall will be senior Patrick Kearney of Clinton Township; Kent will be senior Chris Bryan of Libertyville, Ill.; Edmund will be senior Eric Saxvic of Libertyville, Ill.; Edgar will be senior Tim Heck of Libertyville, Ill.; the Fool will be senior Daniel A. Kwiatkowski of Cheboygan; France will be junior Jeffrey R. Kurtze of Elkhart, Ind.; Burgundy will be junior Jared Abram DeBacker of Jonesville; and Oswald will be senior Matthew Farmer of Bangor.
Ensemble members include: freshman Adam Carpenter of Auburn Hills; sophomore Jeremy Cox of Grosse Point Farms; senior J.K. Granberg-Michaelson of Oakland, N.J.; sophomore Reginald D. Haney of Harvey, Ill.; sophomore Noah David Lein of Elk Rapids; junior Andrew Meyers of Churchville, N.Y.; sophomore David Paarlberg of Glen Rock, N.J.; freshman Jay Rau of Pinckney; sophomore Matt Schwabauer of Rohnert Park, Calif.; sophomore Mike Dominiak of Dearborn; freshman Michael Braaksma of Maywood Ill.; and sophomore Eric VanTassell of Spencer, Iowa.
Tickets for "King Lear" are $7 for general admission, $5 for members of the college's faculty and staff, and $4 for senior citizens and students, and are on sale in the theatre lobby box office in the DeWitt Center. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on weekday performance nights until 8 p.m.; and on Saturday, Nov. 22, from noon to 8 p.m., and may be called at (616) 395-7890.