Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks offers KING LEAR Weekends September 2015 in Pittsburgh City Parks

For its 11th season of bringing free Shakespeare plays to Steel City urban parks, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks presents KING LEAR weekends in September 2015.

Directed by Jeffrey Chips (who performed in The Tempest and Romeo & Juliet with PSIP), Lear features local favorite Ron Siebert as King Lear and PSIP Artistic Director Jennifer Tober in dual roles as Edmund/Oswald.

Playing in Frick, Schenley, and Arsenal Parks, King Lear brings a small, feisty cast of eight (four women and four men) who will be present onstage throughout the show, creating the mise en scène with their bodies and voices, and crafting an action-packed tragedy accessible to all ages and Shakespeare lovers and novices alike.

Ron Siebert

The PSIP production of King Lear--the first production of this compelling tragedy performing in Pittsburgh in many years--will provide audiences with rare access to a masterpiece through dramatic storytelling and imaginative staging.

Filled with political intrigue, betrayal, madness and death, in the world of Lear good does not necessarily triumph over evil, life is often unjust, and suffering is arbitrary and inevitable. King Lear divides his kingdom among his three daughters, and then descends into madness.

Jennifer Tober

“We are very excited that Ron Siebert is playing King Lear; we have been planning this show around Ron for several years,” says PSIP Artistic Director Jennifer Tober.

Siebert is currently appearing at St. Vincent Theatre in Tuesdays with Morrie and has appeared in dozens of regional theaters across the country; TV, film, and on Broadway.

Director Jeffrey Chips has embraced the PISP aesthetic, eliminating all sets, lights, sound, or special effects, and focusing on the actor and the audience.

In addition, the full cast of over 20 characters will be played by only eight actors.

“I love the idea of the ‘yin/yang’ aspect of the play, and by casting only these eight actors, we can explore the great opposition and struggles of the characters at work,” says Chips. "These actors will remain present within the audience for the entire show, make character changes in full view, and talk with the audience while among them.

Perennial company favorites Lisa Leibering and Tonya Lynn will return as production designer and fight choreographer.

Jeffrey Chips

“Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks’ productions are energetic, in your face, and the performers make the language come alive in a way that even small kids get it. We often, in fact, have kids – and adults! - become involved in the action and talk back to the actors…our productions are not doublet-and-hose Shakespeare – our shows are rough and tumble,” says Jennifer Tober, PSIP Artistic Director and actress.

Audience members sit on blankets or chairs and move as the action roves about the park, involving the audience in a very immediate way.

Rounding out the cast are Andrew William Miller, Jessica Moore, Chuck Beikert, Nick Benninger, Madelyn Tomko, and Tonya Lynn.

Read our production's program book (PDF) to learn more about our production, company members, sponsors, and more. When you connect with our adverstisers, please tell them you saw their ad here.

Performances are FREE each Saturday and Sunday in September 2015 and are as follows:

Sept. 5-6, 2 PM: Frick Park
Beechwood Blvd. & Nicholson St., Squirrel Hill (map)

Sept. 12-13, 2 PM: Arsenal Park
40th and Butler Streets, Lawrenceville (map)

Sept. 19-20, 2 PM: Schenley Park
Flagstaff Hill, Schenley Drive and Frew Street (map)

Sept. 26, 11 AM & 2:30 PM: Frick Park (Note: This is a two-show day!)
Beechwood Blvd. & Nicholson St., Squirrel Hill (map)

Sept. 27, 2 PM: Frick Park
Beechwood Blvd. & Nicholson St., Squirrel Hill (map)

Pre-Show Schedule

  • Saturday, Sept. 5: Mrs Shakespeare’s Storytime
  • Sunday, Sept. 6: Alan Irvine Storytelling
  • Saturday, Sept. 12: Mrs Shakespeare's Storytime
  • Sunday, Sept. 13: Alan Irvine Storytelling
  • Saturday, Sept. 19: Alan Irvine Storytelling
  • Sunday, Sept. 20 - Falstaff’s Fellows
  • Saturday, Sept. 26 (both shows) - Alan Irvine Storytelling
  • Sunday, Sept. 27 - Falstaff’s Fellows

PSIP pre-shows should start around 10 minutes to curtain and last no more than 8 minutes. Falstaff’s Fellows shows will start at 45 minutes to curtain (1:15).

Sponsor Us! Buy a Program Ad!

Help us present King Lear this September by buying an ad in our program, or underwriting some of our expenses. Print this form (PDF) to get started. Thanks!

Blow Winds N'at!

Celebrate KING LEAR as only a Pittsburgher can! When yinz WEAR AND SHARE our fun shirt, you help to keep productions of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks FREE for all! Play an important role by sustaining our lively brand of the Bards works. See yinz in the park Saturdays and Sundays in September. Thing is, yinz gotta order your limited edition shirt ASAP!

To order or to share, this is the link.

Get More PSIP Gear!

Order clothing and gear with the PSIP logo or As Yinz Like It right here.


Thank you to all the theater companies who joined us in celebrating Shakespeare's birhday!


Thank you to the businesses who partnered with PSIP to support Week of Will!


Bring Your Own Bard 2016 Season

BYOB is Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks’ informal scene night in which professional actors and non-actors alike take a crack at their favorite Shakespeare pieces.

Please join us in January 2016 for the next BYOB.

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks celebrates 11 seasons of bringing FREE Shakespeare plays to the Steel City! All performances FREE to the public!

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks is the city’s only outdoor Shakespeare company and has been offering free productions in city parks since 2005. In 2013, PSIP’s Romeo & Juliet, directed by Helen M. Meade, played to over 1,000 patrons over four September weekends. Celebrating our 11th season in 2014, PSIP served up As You Like It, (reprising our inaugural 2005 production), featuring Artistic Director Jennifer Tober as Rosalind. Next up: King Lear, playing free to the public in Pittsburgh city parks in September 2015.

Founding Artistic Director Jennifer Tober
Founding Artistic Director Jennifer Tober

Do you like what we do? Want to see us do a specific show? Let us know!...on Facebook or via email at info@pittsburghshakespeare.com.

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Bringing free Shakespeare to the Steel City since 2005.

Bring a blanket, a loved one, and a thermos.

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks' productions of Midsummer Night's Dream in 2006, Twelfth Night in 2008, Much Ado About Nothing in 2010, Merry Wives of Windsor in 2011, The Tempest in 2012, Romeo and Juliet in 2013, and As You Like It in 2014 were supported in part by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment of the Arts, a federal agency.

PSIP has also received support from the Fine Foundation and The Pittsburgh Foundation's Day of Giving program.