Actor Profile: All Hail the King (Lear). Roy Sillings has never been better as King Lear

Roy Sillings has been a part of MCCT for years, playing many roles and challenging the actors that work with him to be better than they have ever been before. As Lear, Roy is every bit the mad king, bringing every part of Lear’s personality to the stage.

What made you audition for Lear?

I didn’t audition.  I was offered the part, probably because I’m old and foolish.

Why do you think this story matters for today’s audiences?

Many of the themes: political, social, psychological and philosophical are, for better or worse, especially relevant today.  It is in some ways a vast morality play commenting on almost every aspect of the human experience.  As one of the great monuments of Western literature, it is an uplifting testament to human creativity, and the heights to which the mind and art of man are capable.  In that sense, this profound tragedy encourages hope.

What new things have you learned as a result of this show?

Further admiration for Shakespeare’s skill as a dramatist.  An incredible amount of background and critical material on King Lear.  I learned just how long my hair and beard can grow in six months and how to pronounce “oeillade”.

Community/Civic theater is a unique challenge. What has been the hardest part of this show? the easiest?

The hardest part has probably been learning to control my pain at the necessary cuts. I understand it is absolutely impossible to do the play without considerable cropping, but in most cases, something wonderful is lost.  Fortunately, the play is so full of wonders, the loss is probably not felt except by those who love the play and know it well. I’m also a little worried about the physical and mental challenges of a role as huge as this.  At my age, things happen…or don’t. 

The easiest has been enjoying the company of everyone on the show.  The rehearsals are exciting and fun.  The schedule not too demanding.  Great cooperation and collaboration.

How did you get involved with MCCT?

Many years ago, walking through the park, I discovered an MCCT audition in progress and did it on a dare. Got a part. Made some great friends. Got addicted, especially to Shakespeare in the park. Wound up on the board.   

What do you do when you’re not rehearsing and memorizing Shakespeare?

Rehearse or memorize something else.  Read, watch the news (Arrgh!) or movies (Yeah!).  Write computer program at work and some for myself at home. Hang out with friends.

Why should audiences come to this show?

See 2 above. Also, because civic theatre, the product of voluntary effort and local contributions, has a unique charm. There’s something wonderful about watching a group doing something for no more than the love of it.  The limited means and warm-hearted inclusiveness inspire audience reactions ranging from amusement to genuine admiration. The performance in a real sense belongs to them. Coming to the show supports a unique and valuable asset of their community.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks to everyone that made this show possible.

Come see Roy and the rest of the King Lear cast beginning October 12!

  • October 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00pm
  • October 14 at 3:00pm

Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Rose Firebay.

Get your tickets today at