Adapted from William Shakespeare's King Lear
by Ava Roy and Courtney Walsh



An irascible middle-aged scholar with dementia communicates with her caretaker daughter using only the text of King Lear, as the two struggle with aging, love and their own balance of power. The performance is immediately followed by a facilitated discussion with the audience.  See the About Mother Lear pdf for full details.


Mother Lear is designed as traveling production and adapts to connect with each new performance location.


Courtney Walsh: "Lear"
Ava Roy: "Cordelia"

Courtney Walsh is delighted to return to the incomparable We Players. After earning a B.A. in Theater Studies at Yale University, she acted professionally in Los Angeles. During an acting hiatus, she earned a law degree to represent children in child abuse cases, returning to the stage in 2006. Since then, she has appeared on national and international stages, both in English and French (including Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris, Montpellier, Cardiff, Athens, Corfu, Sydney, and Auckland). Bay Area credits include: Cutting Ball Theater (title role in Phèdre); Marin Theatre Company (Native Son – West Coast premiere); San Francisco Playhouse (Jerusalem, and Seared – world premiere); We Players (Romeo and Juliet); New Conservatory Theatre Center (Dear Harvey), and many others. For Moby Dick – Rehearsed at Stanford Repertory Theater (where she has been a core company member for ten years) she won Theatre Bay Area Awards for Outstanding Production, Directing and Acting Ensemble. Her solo show Clytemnestra: Tangled Justice has toured eight countries over three continents. Courtney periodically teaches a CSP Drama course at Stanford University and workshops on acting in the U.S. and Europe. She is also a mother of four and a competitive equestrienne. Find her at

Courtney Walsh appears in this production courtesy of Actors' Equity Association.

Ava Roy is the Founding Artistic Director of We Players. Her unique style of interactive, site-integrated performance aims to highlight the historical and natural treasures of the local landscape and encourage new ways of experiencing and appreciating these places. She is an alumna of Stanford University, where she founded We Players in the spring of 2000. She holds a BA in a self-designed major: Ritual and Performance in Aesthetic Education, 2003. Since 2008, she has pioneered unique partnerships with both the National Park Service and the California State Park system, creating large-scale performances at park sites throughout the Bay Area. Inspired and guided by Shakespeare since her teenage years, Ava has explored many characters from the canon ranging from Juliet to Henry V, Mercutio to Lady Macbeth. In addition to her love of Shakespeare, classic literature, historic sites, crumbling buildings, and majestic natural landscapes, Ava likes espresso, salt spray, and sunshine. She is a yoga teacher, a sailor, and in her next life, plans to live in the ocean.

Book Us

Because of the mobile nature of the piece we are looking to grow our reach both geographically and demographically: as we continue to perform the piece in a theatrical context we are also interested in expanding to the eldercare community. Connect with us at if you’re interested in hosting a performance or if you have a group or community that would benefit from Mother Lear.


2017 Theatre Bay Area Award Recommended Production

2018 Theatre Bay Area Award Recommended Production

2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards:

Outstanding Production of a Play
Outstanding Direction of a Play

Courtney Walsh- Outstanding Performer in a Principal Role in a Play
Ava Roy- Outstanding Performer in a Principal Role in a Play


Promotional images can be found in this Google Drive folder, no login required.