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Stacy Keach stars in Yardley church’s online ‘King Lear’ benefit

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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 will play the title character. The online reading will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23. 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 theater closings, William Shakespeare wrote “King Lear” in 1606. It was this eerie connection that inspired the Rev. Hilary Greer, rector of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Yardley, to approach 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.
 
To contribute money to Bucks County Housing Group (BCHG) Community Food Pantry at Penndel, visit bchg.org, or find your local food pantry online at feedingamerica.org.

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