Arts & Events

AROUND & ABOUT THEATER: "Free" 'King Lear' at Hinkel Park

Ken Bullock
Friday August 21, 2015 - 03:33:00 PM

Once again, Actor's Ensemble and Inferno Theatre are collaborating on free outdoor theater at the amphitheater at Hinkel Park--the old Berkeley Shakespeare venue--for the final weekends of summer and Labor Day. Last year's stripped-down version of Kleist's 'Penthesilea' was fascinating--and this year, Inferno's founder and artistic director, Giulio Perrone, who adapted and directed 'Penthesilea,' about the tragic love of Achilles and the Queen of the Amazons on the killing fields before Troy, has come up with a condensed recounting of 'King Lear,' rich in movement theater and design, with an intriguing cast, many familiar to East Bay theatergoers. 

"Political pressure, torture and physical violence have corrupted the family values in the world of this play ... layer [twisted] upon layer like a series of Gordion Knots from which nobody can disentangle ... [fin what has to be endured] to understand the difference between true and false words," Perrone says of his take on Lear in the program notes. 

Drawing on his experience of working at the Grotowski Institute in Italy, overseeing the Dell'Arte theater school near Eureka, and working as scenic designer for many different companies, Perrone and his cast--Soheil Alamkhel, Pierson Bishop, Karen Caronna, Jody Christian, Melissa Clason, Paul Davis, Andrej Diamantstein, Adam Elder, Scott Hartman, Karen McLoughlin, Benoît Monin, Michael Needham, Christina Shonkwiler, Tenya Spillman, Vicki Victoria, Susannah Wood and musician Nic Griffin--promise to deliver an intense, very physical fugue of action and words that make up what many consider the greatest modern tragic drama. 

' King Lear,' Actors Ensemble and Inferno Theatre, Amphitheater at John Hinkel Park, Somerset Place off Arlington Avenue, Berkeley. 4 p. m. Saturdays and Sundays through September 6, with a 4 p. m. show on Labor Day Monday, September 7. Free.