For many of us in the Bay Area, Free Shakespeare in the Park with the San Francisco Shakespeare Company is a beloved summer tradition. I have fond childhood memories of picnicking with my family and sipping hot chocolate while watching fairies dance around Falstaff in the Merry Wives of Windsor.
This year, sponsored by Cupertino, Redwood City, and San Francisco, SF Shakes is taking their summer production of King Lear virtual, with free live shows, opens a new window every weekend through the end of September. Although I'll miss getting to picnic on the grass surrounded by Shakespeare enthusiasts, this production still brings all the creativity I've come to expect from SF Shakes over the years. Director Elizabeth Carter reimagines theater in a virtual space, bringing interaction between the actors even though they are physically separated. You can even download the program, opens a new window with the director's notes and cast bios!
If you want more King Lear in your life, take a look at these resources!
Reading the play can give you a wonderful appreciation of the live performance!
If you're watching with your children, the Oxford School Shakespeare series offers historical notes, photos from past productions, and a glossary alongside the complete script.
For a retelling of the story from a different perspective.
The themes of family, betrayal, and a struggle for power are timeless, as demonstrated in this novel inspired by King Lear.
Discover Christopher Plummer's insights into the play on Shakespeare Uncovered from PBS.
Enjoy a classic film of Lear, from the BBC's series of all of Shakespeare's plays.
Shakespeare's understanding of humanity is popular worldwide, as demonstrated by this Russian adaptation of Lear.
Shapiro outlines the context in which Shakespeare wrote several of his darker plays, including King Lear.
Bryson's witty text gives us insight into the life of the man behind the play.
If you're a fan of Shakespeare in the Park, share which play you'd love to see virtually in the comments below!