By RAVEN JACKSON | Staff Writer
The program for “King Lear” told of the director’s hope to break down the fourth wall that usually exists between actors and audience members. But the cast and crew didn’t just break down the fourth wall, they destroyed it.

Actors walked among the crowd and spoke to audience members as if they too were within the play, and shouts and flashing lights brought upon speakers who stood only a few seats away.

Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” directed by assistant professor, of Theater and Dance, Darren Michael, is set in an ancient culture.

The clothes the cast members wore were reminiscent of dirt and grime, evoking a sense they came straight from the earth.

The actors were adorned in various tattoos from head to foot. The cast member’s intricate body art was done in two days, with 30 minutes of work being devoted to each actor.

“I based the designs on the Pictish culture symbols,” said head of hair and makeup design, Alaina Runions.

“Some of it came from freehand, just getting in there and drawing on people basically, and then some of it was actually symbols or variations of the symbols,” Runions said.

Throughout the program the actors had to elicit high levels of passion in their lines for the emotional play.

Jolie Rile, senior, who played the Duke of Albany, thrived on the energy given from the audience.“I love performing in front of an audience. I’ve been doing this for all four years that I’ve been here and it’s a rush, I love it,” Rile said.

“Performing nights are the best nights. We work so hard during rehearsals, it’s like a performing night is a blessing. You finally get to show what you’ve put on and done all this hard work for.”

King Lear undoubtedly sat audience members into the lap of each scene, allowing the viewers an up close look at the strenuous work the cast and crew members put into the production of the play.

“We do a lot of strange noises and moving our bodies around and just making sure our bodies are warm our tongues are warm, our lips are warm, because no stuttering on stage, none at all,” Rile said.

And there was no stuttering on the stage during “King Lear,” but there was definitely swordplay and fine performances. TAS