Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Montee is the best Lear ever


Oberon chair Richard Joyrich, MD and David Montee, PhD, AEA rejoice after Montee's superb performance as Lear
July 8, 2017 at Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen MI. Photo: Linda Theil
by Linda Theil

Oberons returned to Interlochen, MI this weekend to cheer our friend David Montee, PhD in his final performance as Lear at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Montee -- a Shakespearean actor of extraordinary merit -- retired this term after 30 years teaching at Interlochen Arts Academy.

Oberon Chair Richard Joyrich, MD and I attended the Interlochen Shakespeare Festival production of Lear on July 8, 2017 in the outdoor Upton-Morley Pavilion on the Interlochen campus.


Lear set, Upton-Morley Pavilion, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen MI, 2017
During the Lear ovation, Joyrich said, "The best I've ever seen." This is high praise from an enthusiast who knows the canon exquisitely. Joyrich shares his enthusiasm for Montee's performance with our readers here at "Every Inch a Lear".


David Montee as Lear and Jeremy Gill as Fool, July 8, 2017, Interlochen Center for the Arts,
 Intelochen MI. Photo: courtesy Interlochen Center for the Arts


Also included in the cast were Peter Carroll as France, and Jeremy Gill as Fool -- both of whom Oberons saw in the Interlochen production of Cardenio at the Interlochen "Shakespeare Authorship Symposium" in April. During Sunday morning coffee at Bud's, Montee told us that Jeremy Gill's parents: Michael Gill and Jayne Atkinson of HBO's House of Cards were in the audience on Saturday to support their son. 

During a wide-ranging discussion of the plays on Bud's roomy porch, Montee recommended M.M. Mahood's Playing Bit Parts in Shakespeare for its insight into the depth of Shakespeare's characterization. Oberons would add, in that vein, Montee's own outstanding text on acting: Translating Shakespeare: a Guide for Young Actors (Smith & Kraus, 2014).

Oberons thank you, David Montee, for your work and your art.


Daylilies from the gardens at Hofbrau House where Oberons had dinner on July 8, 2017.