Meet our Cordelia (who also plays the Fool): Kjerstine Rose Anderson

During the run of King Lear (Sep. 16–Oct. 11) we will be posting interviews with the cast to help our audiences get to know the men and women behind some of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters. What was the first role they ever played? What is their pre-show ritual? To find out, keep reading! 

Kjerstine Rose Anderson as the Fool in King Lear. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival-regular Kjerstine Rose Anderson begins our production of King Lear with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “The rain it raineth every day” from Twelfth Night. This sentiment carries through her revelatory performance as both Lear’s youngest (and favorite) daughter Cordelia, and the lovingly pesky—imaginary?—Fool. In his Theater Dogs review Chad Jones wrote, “Anderson is terrific in both roles, crackling good chemistry with the marvelous Anthony Heald as Lear.” She makes her Cal Shakes debut in King Lear. With a performance like this, we hope she’ll be back every season!

Where are you from?

Seattle, Washington

What do you think your King Lear character’s best quality is? Worst?

Generosity. Pride.

Favorite line in King Lear:

“Sa, sa, sa, sa!”

First experience at a play, or musical:

I played Yum-Yum in The Mikado in seventh grade.

First acting gig:

An adaptation of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier at Book-It Rep in Seattle.

Favorite role you’ve ever played:

Elinor in Sense & Sensibility

Favorite Shakespeare play:

Much Ado About Nothing (Ed. Note: Much Ado just happens to be our 2016 Season opener!)

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

Jupiter the cat

What shows/movies/books/art have you seen/read lately that have really spoken to you?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

What is your pre-show ritual?


What is your line memorization technique?

Figure out what I mean…

The one performance you’ve seen that you’ll never forget:

Hamilton at the Public. BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN—EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT. [Ed. note: Hamilton is currently playing on Broadway.]

King Lear runs through October 11. For tickets click here.


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