King Lear
The Actors' Shakespeare Project of Boston
The Annex
June 16 - July 2, 2006
(Preview June 16 - 18, Official Opening June 19)
Mondays, Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30pm; Sundays at 2:00pm
Tickets $35.
$50 for Opening Night benefit performance on June 19.

Directed by Patrick Swanson
Starring Alvin Epstein
Photo: Alvin Epstein as Lear. Credit: Carolle Photography

Box office 212.475.7710

KING LEAR played to sold-out houses and critical raves in Boston in fall, 2005; it was extended twice and has been nominated for three Elliot Norton awards. Terry Teachout, in The Wall Street Journal, called it "The best KING LEAR I've ever seen on stage" In his end-of-the-year wrap-up, Mr. Teachout cited Mr. Epstein for "Best Acting in a Revival," saying that as Lear, "he gave the performance of a lifetime -- complex, compelling, magnetic." Jeremy McCarter of New York Magazine, called the performance "a triumph of classical acting," and awarded it "Best Great Performance New York Missed" and wondered, "How did the city's artistic directors let this happen in Boston and not here?" Frank Rizzo in Variety wrote, "A new theater company and an old acting pro combine talents to create an imaginative, energetic and unorthodox production of KING LEAR. Alvin Epstein is a fascinating and at times astonishing Lear: complex, multicolored and completely mesmerizing, a performance that summons skills and artistry from a lifetime onstage. You know you're in the presence of a master."

Directed by Patrick Swanson, the ASP's KING LEAR comes to Off-Broadway with its original 14-member Boston ensemble. Colin Lane, who appeared in Brian Friel's MOLLY SWEENEY at the Roundabout Theatre and in numerous plays at the Irish Repertory Theatre, plays Gloucester in KING LEAR. Joining Mr. Epstein and Mr. Lane in the cast are Bill Barclay, Allyn Burrows, Ken Cheeseman, Dan Domingues, Benjamin Evett, Bill Gardiner, Jennie Israel, Doug Lockwood, Paula Langton, Gabe Levey, Sarah Newhouse and Michael F. Walker. Director Swanson is the artistic director of Revels, a national organization which presents Christmas and other seasonal celebrations annually in 10 cities across the country, including Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Alvin Epstein's Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include his debut in MARCAL MARCEAU, the Fool in Orson Welles' KING LEAR, Lucky in the American premiere of WAITING FOR GODOT, Clov in the American premiere of ENDGAME, THE THREE PENNY OPERA (co-starring Sting), A KURT WEILL CABARET, and the world premiere of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN (A CHEF'S FABLE). Mr. Epstein has also performed at resident theatres throughout the U.S., in films and on television. Mr. Epstein is a former artistic director of the Guthrie Theater and Associate Director of Yale Repertory Theatre and a founding member of the American Repertory Theatre, where he acted in or directed more than 60 plays. His most recent appearances on New York stages include the Irish Rep's revival of ENDGAME, in which he played Nagg, and Off-Broadway in TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.

Alvin Epstein as Lear. Credit: Carolle Photography.

The Actors' Shakespeare Project was founded in 2004 by Benjamin Evett, a member of the resident company at the American Repertory Theatre for more than 20 years. It offers stripped-down, intimate productions of Shakespeare that focus on the actor and the text to give audiences a vivid sense of the play's ageless relevance. The company includes some of New England's best and most experienced actors. Its first season was widely acclaimed by both audiences and critics, and in a very short time, it has become an important presence in the Boston theater world with its popular productions of RICHARD III, MEASURE FOR MEASURE, JULIUS CAESAR, KING LEAR, TWELFTH NIGHT, and this spring 2006, ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.

KING LEAR was originally produced by ASP and the Boston University School of Theatre.

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