King Lear is upon us!


Bard in the Barracks presents the second show of our 2011 season, the play that many consider Shakespeare’s greatest accomplishment, King Lear. A dark fairy tale about a kingdom that descends into chaos through the unwise choices of its ruler, King Lear stars Bard veteran John Ball in the title role. Returning to the concept that proved so popular with audiences for our last two shows, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear will unfold at several different locations in the park, with audience members led from scene to scene. Notably, however, this year’s action is concentrated mainly in a single area of the park, meaning walking distances will be short and the terrain quite easy to traverse. With the play finishing after sunset, all of the suspense, excitement, and pathos of Shakespeare’s most profound tragedy will reach its conclusion under the stars in a stunning torchlit finale.

Read on for full show details below!

Show dates and time: June 23-July 3 (except no show Monday, June 27), 7:30 PM nightly. Patrons should arrive at the park by 7:15 to allow time to make it to the play’s starting point. Good walking shoes, warm clothing, and a blanket or cushion to sit on are recommended.

Tickets: Tickets are available at the door or in advance at Westminster Books, 455 King Street. Ticket prices are $15 regular, $12 for Seniors, $10 for Students (valid student i.d. required). Children 10 and under are free. Tuesday, June 28 tickets 2 for 1 (available at the door only). Ticket purchases at the door (by main parking lot, Rookwood entrance) by cash only. Advance tickets must be purchased for a specific performance. Audience numbers will be capped should we reach a judged maximum capacity, but our scene locations this year offer generous space for seating. For information on ticket availability, email or phone 458-7406 during our regular box office hours (12:30-4:30).

Advance tickets purchased for rained-out performances can be used for subsequent shows or returned to point of purchase for refund. If rain forces the cancellation of a performance already in progress, audience members can use their ticket stub for free admittance to a subsequent performance, or can opt for a ticket refund if the stoppage occurs prior to intermission (two thirds of the way through the show). For more on our weather policy, see below.

What to Wear: Comfortable walking shoes; clothing that is appropriate for all weather possibilities and suitable for sitting on the ground. Dress in layers: though days may be warm, evenings can still be cool.

What to Bring: Raincoat and hat if threat of rain; a blanket, cushion, or small lightweight camp stool to sit on. For most of the play, audience will be seated on the ground in a grassy area.

What not to Bring: Unless you experience limited mobility, we prefer that you not bring a lawnchair to the show. Even the lightweight, foldable kind will be cumbersome to carry from scene to scene, and with frequent shifts in location of the action those in chairs will inevitably obstruct the view of fellow audience members. Your dog. You love him; we probably would too. But audience members will be at close quarters, and for the safety and comfort of all involved, we ask you to leave Fido at home. Your bike. Please lock it at the rack by the parking lot!

Where to Find Us: For the information of our out of town visitors, the main entrance to Odell Park is located at the corner of Waggoner’s Lane and Rookwood Drive, just west of the major intersection of Dundonald and Smythe Streets, with our box office located at the top of the main parking lot.

Food at the Park: Bard in the Barracks operates a concession stand that will sell a variety of snacks and hot and cold drinks before the show and at intermission. With no electricity at the park our offerings are limited, however. Show-goers who are pressed for time can pick up a variety of take-away meals at the Atlantic Superstore, located just down the street from the park entrance. Tingley’s, near the corner of Smythe and Dundonald Streets, also houses a Quizno’s Subs outlet.

Our rainy weather policy and procedures: Every effort will be made to avoid cancelling the show. We cancel performances very rarely, and only in case of sustained heavy rain or threat of thunderstorms at show time. Because we try to avoid cancellations, decisions on whether to proceed with the show will sometimes not be made until very close to show time. The play will go ahead in case of light rain/drizzle, so audience members are encouraged to dress appropriately. For updates on show status, please call the hotline (506) 471-6956, or follow us on Twitter.

In the event of rain on the final weekend of the show (Saturday July 2 and/or Sunday July 3), an additional performance may be added to the run on Monday, July 4. Check this site for updates. Better yet, come see the show early on to avoid final weekend rainout heartbreak!

Patrons should note that the play contains scenes of violence that may be disturbing to younger viewers.

Questions? Contact us at (506) 458-7406 or
Bard Artistic Director Len Falkenstein can be reached at

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