Casting Announcement: Shakespeare in High Park’s King Lear and Twelfth Night

This summer, the two productions being staged for Shakespeare in High Park are King Lear, directed by Alistair Newton, and Twelfth Night, directed by Tanja Jacobs.

It’s the first time King Lear has been staged in High Park, and Diane D’Aquila, who appeared in the first-ever High Park production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1983, returns to take on the iconic Lear as a queen.

In King Lear, Lear’s journey is re-imagined as a “fever-dream inspired by the final days of Elizabeth I, the most iconic queen in Western history,” says Newton. In choosing the play, Newton was inspired by Samuel Beckett and none other than D’Aquila herself, who he met a decade ago at the National Arts Centre.

Jacobs was inspired for her selection of Twelfth Night by the comedies of Billy Wilder and by American soul music from the late 60s and early 70s, the music from her adolescence. In Jacobs’ vision of the play, the setting of the enchanted world of Illyria will be a hotel, which “allows an individual to be anyone they like, (…) where the past can be denied and where its guests may be placed under a spell,” she says.

Shakespeare in High Park runs from June 29 to September 3 at the High Park Amphitheatre. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday performances are of King Lear, and Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday performances are of Twelfth Night.

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