The Porters of Hellsgate Stage KING LEAR, Jan 4-Feb 9
January 4th, 2013 marks the opening of The Porters of Hellsgate's seventh season as they dive headlong into Shakespeare's seminal tragedy, King Lear. Militaristic in style, and set against an industrial, barren landscape, the Porters explore the destruction of family by greed and ambition, and blindness in the face of regret.
King Lear has divided his kingdom among his three daughters. Deceived by age and pride, he banishes his youngest daughter, blind to her devotion and the greed and cruelty of his two eldest. Lear is cast out by his eldest daughters into a raging storm and forced to keep company with fools and madmen, while Gloucester’s bastard son Edmund schemes against his half-brother Edgar. Tension mounts as sanity is lost, sight is taken, and war breaks out for control of the kingdom in the Bard’s stunning meditation on aging, family, and hysteria.
Starring Larry Cedar as King Lear, with Leon Russom as The Earl of Gloucester. Featuring: Michael Bigley, Dana DeRuyck, Sean Faye, Jamey Hecht, Jo D. Jones, Gus Krieger, Christina MacKinnon, Kate O'Toole, Alex Parker, Tim Portnoy, Hilary Schwartz, and Jesse James Thomas.
The Porters of HellsGate Theatre Company was founded in 2006 by Edward Castuera, Jack Leahy and Charles Pasternak. Their inaugural production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar opened at the end of that year. Since then, The Porters have produced fourteen more of Shakespeare’s plays: Twelfth Night (’07), King Richard III (’07), Titus Andronicus (’07), Two Gentlemen of Verona (‘07/’08), Much Ado About Nothing (’08), Macbeth (’08), Love’s Labour’s Lost (’08), King Richard II (’09), Hamlet (’10), The Comedy of Errors (’10), The Merchant of Venice (’11), Troilus & Cressida (’12), The Merry Wives of Windsor ('12), and Measure for Measure ('12), as well as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (’10, in rep. With Hamlet), an original work, Deity Clutch (originally produced in ’10, then remounted for the 2011 Hollywood Fringe Festival), penned by Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger, and last season, the world premiere of a new translation of Oedipus the Tyrant (’11), translated by resident artist Jamey Hecht, Ph.D.
In 2010, Artistic Director Charles Pasternak was awarded “Shakespeare Performance of the Year” by StageSceneLA for his performance in the title role of Hamlet in The Porters’ production of The Bard’s timeless tragedy (which also received a “GO!” from the LA Weekly). Also awarded, Founding Director Edward Castuera, in the role of Horatio, earning “Best Performance by a Featured Actor/Drama,” and Associate Artistic Director Thomas Bigley, earning “Outstanding Direction of a Drama.” In 2011, Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger and resident artist Liza de Weerd were both honored with “Best Leading Actor in a Comedy/Drama” awards by StageSceneLA for their work as Shylock and Portia, respectively, in The Porters’ production of The Merchant of Venice. In 2012, Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger won StageSceneLA’s “Best Performance in a Shakespeare Play” for his work as Master Ford in The Porters’ The Merry Wives of Windsor, which also garnered Artistic Director Charles Pasternak an “Outstanding Direction of a Shakespeare Play” award, and resident artist Dylan Vigus an “Outstanding Performance in a Shakespeare Play” award for his take on Sir John Falstaff.