Maryhill Museum of Art invites the public to celebrate summer's longest day with a captivating performance of King Lear, set against the backdrop of the museum's full-size replica of England's Stonehenge.
The free performance, presented by Portland Actors Ensemble, will take place Saturday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Stonehenge Memorial.
Often referred to as one of Shakespeare's most insightful plays, the tragedy of King Lear examines the human condition on every level of society, from the absolute monarch to social outcast. The tale centers around the proud King Lear, who declares his intention to divide his kingdom between his three daughters based on which one loves him most. Authority, loyalty, obedience, service, servility, dignity, and pride are principal themes that are woven to support each character's journey.
The production is part of the Portland Actors Ensemble's Shakespeare-in-the-Parks program, which is celebrating its 40th season of making classical theater accessible to audiences in non-traditional environments.
King Lear is stark, soaring, and majestic, so the Ensemble chose to perform this great tragedy in two locations that invoke those qualities: under the St. Johns Bridge in Cathedral Park in Portland and at Maryhill's Stonehenge Memorial.
Built as the nation's first World War I Memorial, Maryhill's replica of Stonehenge lies at what was the original Maryhill town site. Believing the original in Great Britain was used for sacrifices, Maryhill founder Sam Hill constructed the replica in honor of the war dead of Klickitat County. Hill wanted the memorial to serve as a reminder that "humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war."