School of Stage and Screen presenting Shakespeare classic ‘King Lear’

The Shakespeare classic will be staged Wednesday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 19.

One of William Shakespeare’s classic works will hit the stage at Western Carolina University as WCU’s School of Stage and Screen presents “King Lear” from Wednesday, Feb. 15, through Sunday, Feb. 19, in Hoey Auditorium.

Two professional actors, Dennis Krausnick and Colin Wasmund, will join WCU student actors in presenting Shakespeare’s tragedy about an aging monarch’s descent into madness and his personal hell forged from tested love, betrayal and a divided kingdom, said George Brown, dean of WCU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts, who will direct the play.

The ultimate political thriller, “King Lear” is “one of the deepest artistic explorations of the human condition and demonstrates how relevant the Bard’s great works are for our generation,” Brown said.

Krausnick, who will portray King Lear in the WCU Mainstage production, is an internationally renowned Shakespearean actor, director and teacher and is founder of Shakespeare & Company in Massachusetts. Wasmund, who recently moved from Chicago to Cullowhee, will fill the role of Gloucester on the WCU stage. His most recent Shakespearean role was the title character in “Macbeth” in a production of the Midsommer Flight theater company of Chicago.

The cast of WCU student actors includes Autumn Bryson, a junior acting major, as Cordelia; Logan Marks, a senior musical theater major, as Edmund; Kyle Southern, a junior majoring in musical theater, as Edgar; Charlie Cannon, a junior musical theater major, as Kent; and Caleb Warren, a sophomore majoring in musical theater, as the French captain.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 18, and 3 p.m. Feb. 19. Each performance will be followed by a discussion session.

Tickets are $11 for WCU faculty and staff, and seniors; $16 for adults; and $10 for students on the day of the show and $7 in advance.

Tickets are available online at bardoartscenter.wcu.edu or by calling the box office at 828-227-2479.