Nearly Lear Presented and Performed by Susanna Hamnett

Public Programs

Images courtesy of Doug Forster

Nearly Lear
Presented and Performed by Susanna Hamnett

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Fri, Mar 9, 2012 7 PM
Sat, Mar 10, 2012 2 PM

"A frisky, funny, vaudevillian gloss on a great play…a tantalizing introduction to the lifelong pleasures of seeing and reading Shakespeare who was, among many other things, a great spinner of yarns."—New York Times

What if the great and tragic story of King Lear were told by the king's closest companion—his own fool? This is Nearly Lear. Seen through the eyes of Lear's devoted clown, Norris (who, in good Shakespearean tradition, is actually Noreen disguised as a boy), the story is not only poignant and tragic, but also mischievous, tender, and achingly funny.

Nearly Lear confounds expectations of what a Shakespearean play "should" be and uses exuberant storytelling, music, and film, as well as Shakespeare's magnificent text, to take you to the heart of a great story. The emotional roller-coaster ride will entrance lovers of Shakespeare and newcomers to the Bard alike.

Nearly Lear has been winning rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The show received the "Victor" award for best performance at the annual showcase of performances for young people presented by IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) in Austin, Texas, in January 2012. As NOW Magazine notes, "you'd be foolish to miss this tragedy twist."

Please note: Teachers, you can take your classes to school performances of Nearly Lear March 7-9. Follow the link for details.

Nearly Lear is cosponsored by the Wexner Center and Ohio State's Arts Initiative.

The performance is programmed in conjunction with The Year of Shakespeare, which celebrates the culmination of the initial three-year partnership between The Ohio State University and the Royal Shakespeare Company and is sponsored by Ohio State's Arts Initiative as part of that partnership. Cosponsors for The Year of Shakespeare are the Wexner Center for the Arts, the School of Music, the Department of Theatre, and the Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute at the Ohio State University Libraries.