King Lear

King Lear

Aug 4-12, 2023

King Lear

Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.

An aging King Lear decides to divide his kingdom among his three daughters, proportionally by who professes to love him most. His plotting comes to catastrophe and sees him cast from his own kingdom. Shakespeare’s tumultuous tragedy explores speaking truth to power, the cost of grievous mistakes, and whether it’s ever too late for redemption.

Since 1958, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival has delighted audiences with professional theatre on the CU Boulder campus. Complete your Colorado summer with Shakespeare under the stars in the historic Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre—complimentary seatbacks included.

Program book
CSF 2023 calendar

Weather policy

Attending an outdoor show in the Boulder foothills can be unpredictable. Come prepared to enjoy the adventure by reviewing our weather policy and attire suggestions. Learn more

Buying options

Save big with season tickets! This show is available in the Full, Pick 2 or 3, Weekday Will, and Choice packages or as an add-on to other season ticket orders. Learn more

Single ticket discounts are available for preview night (Saturday, July 8, 7:30 p.m.), groups (10+), youth (K-12), seniors (65+), students, active military and CU students and employees. Volunteer ushers get to see the show for free. Learn more

This production contains adult themes and effects, including simulated graphic violence.

The great work begins: Ellen McLaughlin embraces the madness of 'King Lear'

Colorado Shakespeare Festival explores quintessential patriarch's dance with dementia through the vessel of a woman in Boulder

John Moore, The Denver Gazette

Learn more - The great work begins: Ellen McLaughlin embraces the madness of 'King Lear'

In ‘King Lear,’ Shakespeare Takes On Life’s Big Questions

Ellen McLaughlin and Carolyn Howarth discuss Shakespeare’s thought provoking tragedy

Becca Vaclavik

Learn more - In ‘King Lear,’ Shakespeare Takes On Life’s Big Questions

Colorado Shakespeare Festival will present a woman as King Lear in 2023

But major renovations are coming that will move the 2024 outdoor season entirely indoors

John Moore, Denver Gazette

Learn more - Colorado Shakespeare Festival will present a woman as King Lear in 2023

Performance Extras

Applied Shakespeare Weekend Comprehensive Jul 31-Aug 4, 2024

Applied Shakespeare Weekend Comprehensive

In 2024, participants can choose between a 2-day…

Featured Free Event
Classics 101 Jun 3-Dec 20, 2024

Classics 101

Learn all about plays in Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s…



Carolyn Howarthº

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Brik Berkes*


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Anastasia Davidson


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Douglas Fries

Duke of Albany

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Cameron Hazlip

King of France / Knight / Officer / Attendant

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Kyle Lawrence


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Shunté Lofton*


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Isobel Makin


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Ellen McLaughlin*

King Lear

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Maija Pieper


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K.P. Powell*


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Jessica Robblee*


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Sean Scrutchins*


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Sam Sandoe


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Ryan Omar Stack

Oswald / Officer

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Jude Stivers

Duke of Burgundy / Knight / Officer

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Mare Trevathan

Earl of Kent

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View all cast

Artistic Team


Heidi Schmidt

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Costume Designer

Meghan Anderson Doyle

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Sound Designer

Jason Ducat^

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Stage Manager

Kaylyn Kriaski*

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Lighting Designer

Shannon McKinney^

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Scenic Designer

Kevin Nelson

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Director of Voice and Text

Jeffrey Parker

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Dance and Movement Choreographer

Erika Randall

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Fight Choreographer

Benjamin Reigel

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Assistant Stage Manager

Wessie Simmons*

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Plan your visit

Most CU Presents performances take place on the beautiful University of Colorado Boulder campus. Take some time to explore our venues, find out how to get here and get more tips on what to do while you’re in town.

Plan Your Visit - Plan your visit

Accessibility Services

The University of Colorado is committed to providing equal access to individuals with disabilities. If you are planning to attend an event take some time to review our accessibility services.

Accessibility - Accessibility Services