James Earl Jones, Sam Waterston, and F. Murray Abraham crack up during a discussion about King Lear at the Public Theater.
James Earl Jones, Sam Waterston, and F. Murray Abraham crack up during a discussion about King Lear at the Public Theater.
(© Anton Martynov)

The Public Theater, in conjunction with the Shakespeare Society, hosted Public Shakespeare Talks: Eyeless Rage — Anger in King Lear on November 27 in the Public's Anspacher Theater. Tanya Pollard and Public Shakespeare Initiative director Michael Sexton hosted a panel of actors who have played the title role at the Public, including James Earl Jones, Sam Waterston, and F. Murray Abraham.

Jones played Lear at the Delacorte in the summer of 1973 under the direction of Edwin Sherin. Abraham's 1996 production was under the direction of Adrian Hall in the Public's Anspacher Theater. Waterston most recently tackled the role in a 2011 production directed by James G. MacDonald in the Newman Theater.

The panel for Public Shakespeare Talks: Eyeless Rage - Anger in King Lear: Tanya Pollard, Michael Sexton, James Earl Jones, Sam Waterston, and F. Murray Abraham.
The panel for Public Shakespeare Talks: Eyeless Rage — Anger in King Lear: Tanya Pollard, Michael Sexton, James Earl Jones, Sam Waterston, and F. Murray Abraham.
(© Anton Martynov)

The panel discussed the nature of anger, "noble, destructive, cleansing, and clarifying," and its consequences in Shakespeare's tragedy.

The Shakespeare Society, founded in 1998 by Nancy Becker and Adriana Mnuchin, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation of William Shakespeare's works through performance, commentary, and educational activities.