Theatres collaborate to educate students, delight audiences with ‘King Lear’




    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — University of Louisville Theatre Arts Department and Commonwealth Theatre Center have joined together to co-produce William Shakespeare’s epic tragedy “King Lear” Nov. 10-20 in UofL’s historic Playhouse.

    This unique collaboration gives students the opportunity to learn from each other and from the talented, world-class theatre educators at both organizations.

    Baron Kelly, associate professor and head of acting at UofL, will play the role of King Lear. Charlie Sexton, artistic director at CTC, will play the Earl of Gloucester. A number of students from UofL and CTC will play supporting roles and Jennifer Pennington, artistic associate at CTC, is directing the production.

    “Part of making this city strong in the arts is collaborating and sharing in the artistic wealth of this city,” Pennington said.

    The show is an official part of Will in the Ville, the city-wide collaboration of more than 45 arts, cultural and educational organizations celebrating all things Shakespeare before the arrival of the national traveling exhibit, “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.”

    The tragedy depicts King Lear’s gradual descent into madness, after he disposes of his kingdom giving bequests to two of his three daughters based on their flattery of him, bringing tragic consequences for all.

    “I love that it’s such a huge, sweeping tale, but it’s also as suburban as it is universal. The nature of fathers with their sons and daughters hits home for so many people,” Pennington said.

    The Playhouse is on UofL’s Belknap Campus, 1911 S. Third St. “King Lear” runs Nov. 10-14 and 17-20 starting at 8 p.m. with 3 p.m. Sunday matinees. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $12 for faculty, alumni, seniors and non-UofL students and $8 for UofL students. To order tickets or for more information, call the box office at (502) 852-6814 or click here.

    For more information, contact Blair Boyd, UofL program coordinator and box office manager, at 502-852-7682 or or Isaac Spradlin, CTC communication manager, at  or 502-589-0084 ext. 303.


    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.