Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Alvin Epstein as King Lear to Open the Actors’ Shakespeare Project Next Season

Alvin Epstein, one of America’s truly great actors, will play the title role in King Lear to open the second season of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project. The production will be directed by Patrick Swanson and will be produced in collaboration with Boston University. It opens September 29 and runs through October 23 in Studio 102 at BU.

The season continues with Twelfth Night, to be directed by Robert Walsh at the Cambridge Multi-Cultural Center and running from December 15-January 8. A gala party is planned for New Year’s Eve, including dinner, a performance of this classic comedy, and champagne and other festivities to ring in the New Year.

All’s Well That Ends Well, the third play of the season, will be directed by ASP artistic director Benjamin Evett at the Cambridge Family YMCA Theater in Central Square from April 6-30.

Alvin Epstein is an old friend to many members of ASP and Boston audiences, since he was a founding member of the American Repertory Theatre and acted in more than 50 plays there, including The Miser, Henry IV, Happy End, Woyzeck, Richard II, The Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, The Threepenny Opera, Ivanov and Marat/Sade. He recently won critical acclaim off-Broadway as Nagg in Endgame at the Irish Repertory Theater, Morrie in Tuesdays With Morrie, and Firs in The Cherry Orchard with the Atlantic Theater Company. He made his New York debut in 1956, when he was named most promising new actor of the season by the New York Drama Critics’ Circle. Subsequently, his Broadway and off-Broadway credits have included performing with Marcel Marceau, playing the Fool to Orson Welles’ King Lear, creating Lucky in the American premiere of Waiting for Godot and Clov in the American premiere of Endgame, and the world premiere of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin’s When the World Was Green. He is also a founding member of the Berkshire Theater Festival and Yale Repertory Theater, and former artistic director of the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.

The full cast of King Lear has not yet been announced, but will include ASP company members Paula Langton and Jennie Israel as Goneril and Regan, Lear’s rebellious daughters, and Benjamin Evett and Doug Lockwood as Gloucester’s sons, the villainous Edmund and maligned Edgar. Ken Cheeseman will play Lear’s Fool.

Subscriptions are now on sale. For information, go to www.actorsshakespeareproject.org

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