Front Row Reviewers

May 21, 2024 | drama, Interviews, Utah, Utah County

A Wonderful Interview with Riley Trepanier about “King Lear” at Canyon Glen Park, Provo

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers

Interview by Jennifer Mustoe, Front Row Reviewers

Coming soon is an inventive rendition of Shakespeare‘s King Lear, opening Thursday May 23 and playing only three dates until the May 25! This is a wonderful event at a wonderful venue and will be one to not miss.

Here’s what Riley has to say.

Front Row Reviewers (FRR): What is the craziest or most creative way you can think of to summarize the plot of this production?
Riley Trepanier (RT): Reimagining King Lear if everyone were a flapper or 20s gangster and dies miserably. But still completely hilarious and awkward (because comedy always has higher stakes than drama).

FRR: If you had to describe the process of putting on this show with one word, what would it be and why?
RT: Collaborative – I am constantly wowed by what my design, production, and acting team have brought to the table!

FRR: What is the most interesting, funny, wonderful thing you’ve learned while working on this production?
RT: How dang resilient people are! These actors have had a ton thrown at them, and are blowing it out of the water with their creatively brilliant interpretations and work.

FRR: What do you do right before each performance to get ready? Right after each performance?
RT: Before: cast cheer and warmup. After: hopefully a well-deserved night’s rest.

FRR: What is your favorite inside-joke from the show?
RT: “Noswald is the staring role.” Those who get it, get it.

FRR: What is your favorite aspect of this production?
RT: The characters, the characters, the characters. They are so fascinating and the Bard is so so brilliant at writing real humans. In this case, humans who often make terrible decisions. And this cast is so wonderfully suited to diving in deep to understanding their characters.

FRR: Tell us about your cast.
RT: Ranging from people who’ve acted for multiple decades to first-timers, this group of people has come together in support of each other and this show in a remarkably short time. I wouldn’t trade them for any other cast.

FRR: What is your background and training as a director?
RT: I have a degree from BYU, where I completed a directing capstone and took several directing classes. My acting training has been primarily Stanislavsky and Meisner, which informs my directing style. As does my training as a stage manager, producer, and designer. This is the 7th show I’ve directed. Most of my experience comes from new works and classics.

FRR: What is the biggest challenge of directing in general?
RT: You must simultaneously have a deep understanding of the challenges and obstacles facing the show, while also remaining its biggest fan and a perpetual cheerleader for what you believe it is and what it can be. Be a realist, a problem-solver, and a visionary. And wear many hats–so many hats.

FRR: What is the biggest challenge of directing this show?
RT: Time. I wish we’d had more time. We started the process several weeks ago, but one of the biggest challenges with a small voluntary-oriented theatre is scheduling with artists who are also working at jobs and have other obligations. We also have had a few last minute recasts due to extenuating circumstances – hence why I ended up playing a flapper.

FRR: What are the surprises and delights you’re finding in directing this show?
RT: Seriously, how fantastic the people involved are. I knew many of the cast and crew during pre-production, and I’m delighted to have gotten to know them more – and meet new people. I knew these were all stellar people dedicated to their craft – and they keep one-upping themselves.

FRR: What area of design are you creating for this show?
RT: If you’re a longtime King Lear fan – sorry about the dukes. But think about how badass the princesses are for tag-teaming that one scene with Gloucester.

Lear in the Park Facebook Event
May 23-25 7 :00 PM, May 25 1:00 PM
$10 at the door
Canyon Glen Park, 1501 E Provo Canyon Rd, Provo, UT 84604
Pay at the door! Instagram is @merelyplayersrivertroupe

Front Row Reviewers

Front Row Reviewers


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