In anticipation of our coming performance of LĒR, please peruse these FAQs!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Sell me on this. What is it?
A: LĒR is an adaptation of Dub Shakey’s King Lear, performed as only the Reformers can. In some ways it’s the culmination of our body of work to date, tracing a direct ancestry through THE TURN, HAUNTED HOUSE, THE VAN, and YES/NO/GOODBYE. If you’re a fan of us, a fan of innovative theatre experiences, a fan of Shakespeare, or a newcomer to the theatre, this show is for you.
Q: LĒR? I thought you were doing King Lear?
A: Over the past several years, we’ve taken on some intense research, digging into the historical roots of this play. Not only the true life events that inspired Billy S. to write it, but also the way it would have been traditionally performed in Willy’s time. Incorporating those elements into our performance has been a fulfilling challenge, beginning with the old English spelling of the name Lear, Lēr. We added the macron to indicate the long E sound. The choice to go in all caps is purely pleasing to Brother Blue Orb’s asthetic choices.
Q: Ugh – I hate Shakespeare! It’s so overdone! Will I still enjoy this play?
A: That’s two exclamations and one question!
- A1: (Ugh – I hate Shakespeare!) Yes, you do – as do some members of our community, although we all share an appreciation for the cultural significance of Bill’s work.
- A2: (It’s so overdone!) It very often is, yes. We think that we’ve found a really unique way to approach the text, however. I promise that you haven’t seen Billiam’s work performed this way ever before.
- A3: (Will I still enjoy this play?) We sure hope so. We’re going to do our damnedest. It’s definitely a more accessible approach than many that have been performed in Portland.
Q: Ooh – I love Shakespeare! I have King Lear memorized! Will I still enjoy this play?
A: Okay, that’s two exclamations and one question. who curated this FAQ?
- A1: (Ooh – I love Shakespeare!) Yes, you do – as do some members of our community, although we all share an appreciation for the cultural significance of Willshkspeare’s work.
- A2: (I have King Lear memorized!) Hey, so do we!
- A3: (Will I still enjoy this play?) We sure hope so. We’re going to do our damnedest. It’s definitely a more innovative approach than many that have been performed in Portland.
Q: What’s with all this Community talk? I thought you were a theatre company?
A: Well, one thing we’re not is a cult. The Reformers have transformed into an intentional theatre community, living communally where possible, consolidating our assets, and focusing our energies on studying theatre, properly aligning our energies, and attempting to transcend this physical existence with the goal of Living Again! Nothing weird. Also, we’re still a theatre company. Come see our new show!
Q: What’s with all this Living Again talk? I see people everywhere with those buttons!
A: We revere the success of The Living Theatre, and Julian and Judith have inspired many of our community’s core beliefs. We Reform ourselves as we Reform the theatre. We are living again.
Q: Did I correctly hear that you’re putting out an album in support of this show?
A: That’s correct! About a year ago, Brother Blank Page had a dream that The Reformers were releasing a musical album called Friday Animals. He even remembered two song titles from his dream, and thus we were graced with Why Are We Not Freaking Out About This, and the eponymous Friday Animals. The release will coincide with the opening of LĒR, and you can purchase CDs at the show! It has themes that resonate within LĒR, and helps to explore some of the topics that The Reformers have always dived into (e.g., death, the imminent and relentless void, workday schedules, the pernicious ubiquity of social media, dancing, etc).
Q: Is this show appropriate for all ages?
A: As this is a B-Shakes show, there’s some gore, and intense situations. We recommend 13+. Younger kids, you know, it depends on the kid. You do you, parents!
Q: I’ve heard this referred to as an “immersive experience” and I’ve heard some of those make an audience feel unsafe?
A: We’ve been doing this for a number of years, and we are focused on keeping our audience safe. You won’t be touched, hit, yelled at, doused with blood or other fluids. There are seats to sit in, because this is a theatre space, and we are ADA compliant. You won’t be put into an unsafe situation.
Q: So, what do you mean when you say Immersive Experience?
A: Well, for one thing, you don’t even exist outside of this question! You’re just a construct that I made in order to give information to folks who should come see our play! You’re kind of a marketing tool, and also a creative foil. How’s that for immersive?!? Otherwise, if you’re interested in what we’ve been up to around this show – including caroling at local theatre companies in January (as you do), go check out our Facebook page for a wealth of integrated content. Feel free to dig around. We also have a podcast about our community and creative process available.
Q: Wow, I have all of my Frequently Asked Questions answered, and now I’m going to buy tickets to LĒR!
A: Thanks! Do that here!