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Why Tony-winning actress Trezana Beverley came back to the role of King Lear

By Lauren Gilger
Published: Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 1:23pm
Updated: Thursday, October 13, 2022 - 1:56pm

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Trezana Beverley in “King Lear”
Southwest Shakespeare
Tony Award-winning actress Trezana Beverley in “King Lear”

King Lear is one of Shakespeare’s most commanding characters. The declining monarch who unravels into insanity amid political machinations has been played by everyone from Laurence Olivier to Anthony Hopkins.

And now, he will be played here in the Valley by someone a little different: a woman.

Trezana Beverley is a longtime stage actor and Tony Award winner. In 1977, she became the first African-American actress to win a Tony Award for her role in, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf.” And she’s actually played King Lear before — more than a decade ago in New York.

Beginning Oct. 14, she will reprise the role at the Mesa Arts Center for the Southwest Shakespeare Company’s newest rendition of the play.

Before that, The Show spoke with her to learn more about the role and her long career on the stage.

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