When you come to see the show, you will certainly notice the pair of socks that gets passed around. They've become a pretty integral part of the show. But there has been quite a road to make them... well significant.
In the original workshop, the actors had license to do close to whatever they wanted to. At one rehearsal, Anthony asked if he could give Brian a pair of dirty socks. And so it became a part of the show and Brian had to give the socks value and meaning. In the Bailiwick production, I gave the actors the option to find a different prop or drop the idea all together. But the wanted to honor what was written in the script, arbitrary though it was, and find a way to make it work. The socks became something so valuable in the world of this play that the Fool would be jealous of Kent getting the socks instead of him.
As we start this new production, I have heard several comments from both the actors and the designers that "socks seem to be important in this world." And so they are now. They've become a status symbol. A way to designate the "haves" and "have nots." They are something that can be given or withheld and by doing so you have the power to affect another person. And the idea and importance of the socks manifest in ways other than just the bestowing of socks by Laer to Kent. They've become a theme in the costume design too.
There are lots of different meanings for the socks. When you see the production, share with us what you think they might be.