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La. Tech Theatre Modernizes Shakespeare Tragedy King Lear

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Katie Brumfield
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Tech Theatre Department
King Lear is playing at the Stone Theatre in Ruston April 24-29.

The Louisiana Tech Theatre Department is presenting the Shakespearean tragedy King Lear April 24-29 at the Stone Theater in Ruston. 

The play is set in modern-day Washington D.C. and features many opportunities for audience interaction. King Lear's three daughters are campaigning for control of the best third of the nation throughout the audience. The candidates pass out business cards with QR codes The audience can scan the codes on their phone and see the voting process in real-time on a screen.

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Credit Katie Brumfield / La. Tech Theatre Department
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La. Tech Theatre Department
The role of King Lear is played by actress Lyndsay Manson.

Another layer of the La. Tech interpretation is that actors are performing "in the round," or within the audience. According to Katie Brumfield, co-marketing director at La. Tech,  many of the "asides" are delivered directly to audience members. The play is also color and gender blind, with the role of King Lear being portrayed by Lyndsay Manson, a female second-year grad student.

"What's really interesting about our production is that it's so relevant to today," says Brumfield. As part of the modern take on the play, the show features knife fights with fake blood. The main female characters can be seen wearing "power suits" as they campaign.

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Credit Katie Brumfield / La. Tech Theatre Department
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La. Tech Theatre Department
Kent, the Fool, King Lear, and Poor Tom wrestle with strange questions as the tempest rages.

The La. Tech Theatre Department is presenting the Shakespearean Tragedy King Lear April 24-29 at the Arthur W. Stone Theatre on the Tech campus in Ruston. More information and tickets for the play are available here or by calling the box office at 318-257-3942.