King Lear

I was an English major in college, and among all the literature classes I took, one of them was a Shakespeare class. I have to admit, it wasn't one of my favorite classes I ever took. I never really got the puns or the off-color jokes or what the actor was really saying. In fact, part of me just wanted to stand up and say, "Will you please repeat what you just said in but layman's terms?" I know that that might be blasphemy for some of you to read, but there it is.

Now Geoffrey Chaucer and his "Canterbury Tales" or T. S. Eliot and his "Wasteland" . . . well now, that's a whole different ball of wax. I could read those two authors and write papers on them all day long.

But back to Shakespeare and his plays. Part of the class requirements was to spend an afternoon/evening each week watching the Royal Shakespeare Company's BBC production of the particular play we were studying in class (and honestly, that was really how I understood what the play was about).The one play that stands out to me the most, even after some 30 years, is "King Lear". The play is about a king who divides his kingdom amongst his three daughters and the tragedy that comes from his decision. There are sword fights and eyes gouged out and the final reuniting of his youngest daughter with Lear that ends in sadness and death. Just your typical Shakespearian tragedy.

There is a drama group here in Fayetteville made up of college students, some still attending college and some that are graduate students. One of the founders of The Crude Mechanicals happens to be one of Meghan's best friends and he asked me to photograph their dress rehearsal of "King Lear" last Wednesday night before opening the next night to the general public.

It was one of the most amazing productions I have ever seen. The raw emotion portrayed on stage was every bit as good as any Royal Shakespeare production. And the most amazing thing about this reproduction was that the group only had a month's rehearsal time, which included constructing a set, choreographing the sword fights, getting costumes together; in short, putting together an entire world on top of learning lines and places.

I can't wait to see what they pull off for their summer Shakespeare production!

Thank you, Zach and The Crude Mechanicals, for letting me see a sneak peek and recording your wonderful endeavor!