Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, along with Owensboro Theatre Alliance, which is a collaboration between Owensboro Community & Technical College, Kentucky Wesleyan College, and Brescia University, will present the Shakespearean classic "King Lear" Oct. 3 at the Empress Theatre, 418 Frederica St.

Nate Gross, the show's director, said this production is a perfect example of how community partnerships can come together for a common goal. There are 16 students and 10 community members involved.

"It's really kind of a dream cast," said Gross, who is the director of KWC's theater department. "It's rare you can cast everything so age-appropriately and it's a good mix of young and old."

"King Lear" is based on an ancient tale that would have been over 1,000 years old when William Shakespeare heard it, Gross said. It's about King Lear, who is the king of England and who has three daughters and no sons. Lear wishes to retire and decides to split the kingdom amongst his three daughters.

"He does this by saying, 'Tell me how much you love me,' and so the older two do that and they try to outdo each other, and he gives them each a third (of the kingdom)," Gross said. "The youngest is his favorite, and she's just purely honest and tells him he loves him and there's nothing she can say to represent that."

King Lear is unhappy with this and tragedy ensues, Gross said.

Amanda Dawson, Brescia professor of theater, said the production is unique in that it brings together Brescia, OCTC, and KWC. This production is "extra unique" because it is also a collaboration with TWO.

She said the Owensboro Theatre Alliance is great because it allows the three schools to pool their resources and put on bigger shows.

Julie Ledford, OCTC associate dean for humanities and fine arts who also teaches theater, said OCTC is happy to provide the opportunity for students, and that it's great to have a variety of perspectives on theater and its production.

"It's a valuable learning experience for these students," she said.

The show will continue through Oct. 6. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday's matinee is at 2 p.m.

Tickets for the event are $18 in advance for adults, and $12 in advance for students. There will be a $2 upcharge on all tickets purchased at the door.

Tickets are available at theatreworkshop.org, or by calling 270-683-5333.

This event is sponsored by Helen and Jesse Mountjoy.

Bobbie Hayse, bhayse@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7315.

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