King Lear

Actor/director Gary Sloan, left, and Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Stacy Keach.

YARDLEY BOROUGH >> St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Yardley presents a benefit reading of William Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece "King Lear," performed by the St. Andrew’s Players under the direction of parishioner and actor/director Gary Sloan.

Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Stacy Keach, the pre-eminent American interpreter of Shakespeare and versatile actor known for starring in American History X, the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan, and the Mike Hammer television films and series, will play the title character.

The online reading will be held on Thursday, April 23 beginning at 7:30 p.m. It will be streamed to St. Andrew’s Facebook Page, St. Andrew's YouTube Page, and St. Andrew's Website.

Keach stars alongside several local actors in this performance, which will benefit local food pantries during the COVID-19 crisis. Performers will be directing the audience to the Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) Community Food Pantry at Penndel and similar organizations around the country for monetary donations.

The video will be available for four days thanks to approval from the performers Unions and Theatre Authority clearance. This performance of King Lear will be a 90 minute adaptation based on a version adapted by Peter Brooks for Orson Welles in 1953 for CBS’s Omnibus.

In the shadow of the plague, political division, and theatre closings, William Shakespeare wrote King Lear in 1606. It was this eerie connection that inspired Reverend Hilary Greer, Rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Yardley, to approach actor/director and parishioner Gary Sloan to begin Zoom rehearsals toward a benefit reading of King Lear on Shakespeare’s Birthday.

“We hope to raise awareness for our local food pantries during this COVID-19 crisis. There is a serious shortage of food in many food pantries across the country. The cast will direct audiences to consider donating much-needed funds to the Bucks County Housing Group’s food pantry at Penndel and other resources around the country,” said Greer.

The Bucks County Housing Group relies heavily on donors in order to fund their initiatives and keep their agency running. If you wish to contribute money to Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) Community Food Pantry at Penndel, please click the link below and you will be navigated to their safe and easy online donation form.

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is a historic Episcopal church in the heart of Yardley. It is a welcoming, centuries-old parish feeding the hungry, building a peaceable world, serving the community, and honoring its faith. For more about the parish, visit www.standrews-yardley.org

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