Johnny Stallings Presents “King Lear”
Date: 7:30pm PST November 13, 2012 Location: Smith Hall
This is an encore performance of Johnny Stallings’ solo version of King Lear. Stallings first performed his solo version of King Lear in the spring of 1978, thanks to a grant from the Metropolitan Arts Commission of Portland. Since then, he has performed in schools, theaters, prisons, and at the Cornelia Connell Theater in New York.
Stallings’ performance of King Lear is a no-frills version that will amaze and fascinate. Without trivial things like sets, props, costumes, and other actors cluttering up the stage, you’ll find your brain forced to concentrate on nothing but the words themselves, which–according to Johnny–is not such a bad thing: “It’s arguably the best poetry in any language,” he says reverently. It takes great skill to make Shakespeare this approachable, and above all else, his grasp of the language is impeccable. Stallings glosses over sections of King Lear with summary asides, and handles the dialogue scenes by simply moving to different parts of the room, distinguishing the different characters with only the smallest variations in posture and tone. The result should be clumsy and awkward, but the precision of his line readings, combined with his quirky sense of humor, makes it fluid.
In prior years, this has been a standing-room-only event. Please arrive early to get a seat. Refreshments to be provided.