Adaptor 1 Hinton, Peter
Adaptor 2 Schellenberg, August
Date of First Production
2012, May 8
Title King Lear
Peter Hinton
Place of First Production
National Arts Centre, Ottawa, ON
Production Company
NAC English Theatre Company
Technical Design/Direction
Assistant Director: Lorne Cardinal
Set and Costume Designer: Gillian Gallow
Lighting Designer: Louise Guinand
Sound Designer: Assesandro Juliani
Production Dramaturg: Paula Danckert
Company Historian: David Dean
Stage Manager: Stéfanie Séguin
Assistant Stage Manager: Samira Rose
Lear: August Schellenberg
Cornwall: Keith Barker
Regan: Tantoo Cardinal
Oswald: Ryan Cunningham
Burgundy: Meegwun Fairbrother
Gloucester: Billy Merasty
France: Jeremy Proulx
Kent: Craig Lauzon
Cordelia/The Fool: Jani Lauzon
Edmond: Keving Loring
Goneril: Monique Mojica
Edgar: Gordon Patrick White
Year Play Written 2013
Adaptor 1 Biography Peter has been the Artistic Director of English Theatre at Canada's National Arts Centre since 2005. For the NAC he has directed Allen Cole's The Wrong Son, Gloria Montero's Frida K., Marie Clements' Copper Thunderbird (co-production with Urban Ink Productions), Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth (co-production with Citadel Theatre) and The Comedy of Errors (co-production with Centaur Theatre), William Congreve's The Way of the World, Sam Shepard's Buried Child and Selma Lagerlöf's The Changeling translated by Sylvia Söderlind, Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and her Children (co-production with Manitoba Theatre Centre), Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Michel Tremblay's Saint Carmen of The Main translated by Linda Gaboriau (co-production with Canadian Stage). In 2008, he was awarded the Audrey Ashley Award for outstanding contribution to Ottawa theatre by the Capital Critics Circle. In September 2007, Mr. Hinton welcomed to the NAC Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company, with whom the NAC English Theatre partnered to produce the world premiere of Margaret Atwood's stage adaptation of her novel, The Penelopiad. This collaboration marked the first partnership between the Royal Shakespeare Company and a Canadian theatre company.

Before coming to the National Arts Centre, Peter was an associate artist at The Stratford Shakespeare Festival for seven seasons, directing The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare's Universe, The Odyssey, Fanny Kemble, The Duchess of Malfi, Into the Woods, and all three parts of his own verse trilogy entitled The Swanne. Peter was the Dramaturg in Residence at Playwrights Workshop Montreal for five years and has been Associate Artistic Director at both The Canadian Stage and Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto. On December 30, 2009, Peter Hinton was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.
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Adaptor 1 Bibliography
Adaptor 2 Biography August Werner Schellenberg was born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada on July 25, 1936 to a Swiss father and an English-Mohawk mother. He lived in Montreal until moving to Toronto, Ontario, where he made his home from 1967 until 1995. Currently living in Dallas, he is married to actress Joan Karasevich and is the father of three daughters. A 1966 graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, August began his acting career in the theatre with a six-month tour of Ontario performing for high school students with the Crest Theatre Hour Company. Work opportunities then took him to regional Canadian theatres including: the Charlottetown Festival in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; the Neptune Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia; the Centaur and Saidye Bronfman theatres in Montreal and Theatre Lennoxville – all three in Quebec; the St. Lawrence Centre, Young People’s Theatre, and Theatre Plus – all in Toronto, Ontario; Rainbow Stage in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Theatre Calgary in Calgary, Alberta; the Vancouver Playhouse in Vancouver, British Columbia; and the Bastion Theatre in Victoria, British Columbia. As well, August has appeared at Ontario’s renowned Shaw and Stratford festivals; at Stratford he received the 1967 Tyrone Guthrie Award for most promising young actor. His American theater experience includes a season at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a season at the Dallas Shakespeare Festival in Dallas, Texas, and two seasons in John Krizanc’s Tamara at the 66th Street Armory in New York, New York.
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Adaptor 2 Bibliography
Shakespeare's Tragedy, King Lear, set in 17th Century Canada, amidst the pressure of early contact and confrontation, with a cast of Aboriginal actors from across the country, including the renowned August Schellenberg as Lear. In this powerful family conflict, an aging father - dividing his kingdom - demands proof of love from his daughters, thereby unleashing a tempestuous tragedy that even a kind can't control. A play as big as Canada, resonating with our own history.

In Peter Hinton's revisioning of Shakespeare's King Lear, we see Lear, an aging First Nations chief, in the early days of the long history of treaty-making between his people and the British colonial powers. As the play opens, he has just signed a treaty with the Crown, and is regretting the decision. The resulting loss of ancestral lands, and the erosion of Lear's sense of self, fuels his decision to cast off the responsibilities of leadership (while retaining the privileges) and turn to his inheriting daughters for comfort and support. A sense of tension and impending dissent colour the startling opening scene where Lear demands avowals of love from his daughters in exchange for portions of the land. When Cordelia fails to say what he wants to hear, he disowns her and casts her out of the family.

The decision we don't see - the treaty signing - and the ramifications of the colonial presence and power on traditional lands, plus his sense that he has betrayed his people, feed Lear's irrational behaviour, and descent into madness.
First Nations
Non-traditional Casting
Adaptation of King Lear
Entry Last Updated 26Jul12 3:58PM


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