The Interlochen Shakespeare Festival draws on the unique resources of the Interlochen Center for the Arts to present bold and innovative interpretations of the classics. Founded in 2008 and led by artistic director William Church, a core ensemble of Interlochen faculty, staff and alumni commits itself to engaging northwest Michigan audiences through professional theatre that celebrates the Shakespearean imagination.
June 30 and July 1, 7, & 8, 2017
The beauty of King Lear is in the descent of the title character as he reels from the deceit of his daughters. After Lear disposes of his kingdom, giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their insincere flattery of him, tragic consequences befall them all. Derived from the legend of Leir of Britain, a mythological pre-Roman Celtic king, the play has been widely adapted for the stage and motion pictures, with the title role coveted by many of the world's most accomplished actors. The tragedy is particularly noted for its probing observations on the nature of human suffering and kinship.
The first attribution to Shakespeare of this play was a 1608 publication, however, its provenance is sketchy, as it may be an early draft or simply reflect the first performance text. The Tragedy of King Lear, a more theatrical revision, was included in the 1623 First Folio, however, modern editors usually combine the two, though some insist that each version has its own individual integrity that should be preserved.
Often times, the play was revised with a happy, non-tragic ending for more delicate audiences who disliked its dark tone. However, since the 19th century, Shakespeare's original version has been regarded as one of his supreme achievements. George Bernard Shaw wrote, "No man will ever write a better tragedy than Lear."
American Hwangap, by Lloyd Suh
July 3, 5 & 6, 2017
With it's world premiere at Magic Theatre in San Francisco, playwright Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap tells the story of Min Suk Chun, who some 15 years earlier left his family in a West Texas suburb to return to his native Korea. On the occasion of his 60th birthday, a milestone signifying the completion of the Eastern Zodiac and a type of rebirth called 'hwangap,' he returns to his ex-wife and now adult children as they struggle to reconcile their broken past with the exasperating patriarch now back at the head of the table.
After the sold-out success of its first two productions, "Twelfth Night" and "The Taming of the Shrew," the company presented "Macbeth" in 2010, "The Merchant of Venice" in 2011, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" in 2012, "Hamlet" in 2013, "The Tempest" in 2014, "As You Like It" in 2015 and "Romeo and Juliet" in 2016.