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King Lear

British actor Joseph Marcell greets students after performing the title role in "King Lear" at the Lincoln Theater. The Yountville stop was the last in a world tour for the company from the Globe Theatre in London. 

Last week, the actors from the Shakespeare’s London Globe Theatre came to Yountville to perform the last performance of a yearlong tour show “King Lear” around the world.

NapaShakes arranged for the performance at the Lincoln Theater, which included free shows for students presenting a scaled-down version of the great tragedy of a man and his daughters.

The aging King Lear decides to step down and divide his kingdom among his daughters, Regan and Goneril, excluding the third daughter, Cordelia, who will not flatter him sufficiently as the other two did.

Regan and Goneril prove to be treacherous. The once-powerful king is reduced to a homeless madman in a play filled with betrayal, loyalty, swordfights and redemption

Among the students in the audience were actors from Nick Cheranich’s sixth-grade drama class at Silverado Middle School; some of them provided the Register with their reactions to the play. “It was gratifying how only eight people played 25 roles, and how they brought all of the characters to life,” wrote Carolyn Kerruish, 12. “I could really feel their emotions, and understood why they were saying what they were saying. It also amazed me how they really became that character.”

Alexis Ayer, 12, wrote: “‘King Lear’ was an inspiring show and had so much emotion and hard work put into it. There were times where you felt as if you were going to cry and times where you couldn’t stop laughing.”

He also noted, “You could tell how much hard work the actors and actresses put into the entire thing. It also shows to not always judge a book by its cover.

“The two sisters had lied the entire time saying that they love King Lear but the daughter who truly loved him got banished. The truly amazing part was that the actors and actresses weren’t just playing one part but sometimes two or more. You could barely tell it was the same person. They put different emotion into it and a different perspective. It made you want to be up there with them. You also felt like you were up there with them. It was a amazing experience and I hope to see more like it.”

Natasha Cinq-Mars, 12, describing seeing “King Lear” as “a very cool experience for me.”

“It was about a daughter who gets banished from her home because she didn’t love her dad,” Cinq-Mars wrote. “She came back … and her father found out it was her and asked for her forgiveness. She said yes. They fought a man and sadly, they lost. They both went to jail. Cordelia hung herself. Lear came back with a dead Cordelia in his hands.

“That was the play. I went into the lobby and I talked and got pictures with some of the actors. We then went backstage and (looked) at some of the dressing rooms and green room. Today was such a cool day! I’m so happy I went to the Lincoln Theater.”

“The performance for the students today at the Lincoln Theater was quite wonderful and inspirational to many of my kids,” said Cheranich, who teaches math as well as drama at Silverado. “Kudos to Laila Aghaie (the outreach and education director at the Napa Valley Performing Arts Center at the Lincoln Theater) and NapaShakes for getting about a thousand local kids packed into the theater to see one of the best of the Bard.”

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