KING LEAR by William Shakespeare
Created by THE INDEPENDENT EYE, a puppet theatre presentation with Conrad Bishop and Elizabeth Fuller.
ABOUT THE PERFORMANCE: (from independenteye.org)
For more than 40 years, The Independent Eye has toured the USA, logging over 3,000 shows in big cities and tiny towns, from Off-Broadway to church basements, even in people’s living rooms. The magic of human connection can happen anywhere, and does.
Two actors. Twenty puppets. Shakespeare’s fiery text. Lear is the puppeteer of his own puppet show, the solo human in his motherless kingdom of power and commodity. Like Dante’s damned souls, caught in a perpetual hell particular to each, Lear obsessively plays out his loss of power, friendship, shelter, sanity, and at last even hope. The Fool is his withered soul, an acid clown who torments Lear, stage-manages his story, and finally disappears into Lear’s madness.
Sprung from The Independent Eye’s series of landmark actor/puppet stagings — Macbeth, The Tempest, Frankenstein, Descent of Inanna — this King Lear features Conrad Bishop as Lear, Elizabeth Fuller as the Fool, with Fuller’s music score in a warm, inviting setting that offers some shelter against the storm.
Written by William Shakespeare
Created and performed by Conrad Bishop & Elizabeth Fuller
Produced by The Independent Eye
Funded in part by a grant from Theatre Bay Area and Dancers Alliance
Premiered at the Eye Studio, Sebastopol, CA, on March 21-29, 2015, and at The Emerald Tablet, San Francisco, April 10-26, 2015
San Diego Puppetry Festival (San Diego CA)
Occidental Center for the Arts (Occidental CA)
Germinal Stage (Denver CO)
The Venue (Norfolk VA)
Towson University (Towson MD)
Studio X (Philadelphia PA)
Touchstone Theatre (Bethlehem PA)
Box of Light (Bloomsburg PA)
Franklin & Marshall College (Lancaster PA)
Irondale Center (Brooklyn NY)
Pontine Theatre (Portsmouth NH)
University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee (Milwaukee WI)
Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre (West Liberty IA)
From the Bay Area media:
Utterly convincing, often heartbreakingly so . . . dazzlingly inventive . . . a startlingly effective and haunting Lear – more so than most that have a full cast of living actors.
—Sam Hurwitt, KQED Arts
A work of passion and artistry . . . nothing short of genius.
—David Templeton, North Bay Bohemian
Two masters who have perfected their craft.
—Benjamin Wachs, SF Weekly
Quite frankly, I have never seen anything like it. Within the confines of a puppet stage, too cramped even to stand up, these two create a sweeping, theatrically satisfying version of King Lear that can hold its own with the work of any Shakespeare Festival in the United States. . . . I will never forget it. You won’t either.
—Charles Kruger, TheatreStorm