The Winter’s Tale ~ Dress Rehearsal

From left: Yanna McIntosh as Hermione, Seana McKenna as Paulina and Ben Carlson as Leontes. Photo by: Andrew Eccles

The Winter’s Tale

by William Shakespeare

May 27 to September 25 – Opens June 9

Do you remember the last time you sat around the campfire and told stories?  Tales you’ve heard so often that they’re like old friends – yet you still enjoy hearing them every time?  Shakespeare would have been familiar with a few stories told by the fire on those cold English winter nights.  Perhaps it was in the spirit of these winter tales that he wrote The Winter’s Tale, now playing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

If you’re not familiar with The Winter’s Tale, don’t be alarmed – it’s not produced very often. In fact, this is only the fourth time we’ve done it at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.  To help you with the story, here’s a short presentation I found online.

Like The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale was written toward the end of Shakespeare’s career and displays his artistry at its most mature.  Effortlessly exploring the full range of human emotion, it’s a story of love, betrayal, deceit and – most important of all – reconciliation.

Seeing this particular production, you cannot help but be in awe of the amazing cast director Marti Maraden has at her disposal.  It includes Ben Carlson, Ian Lake, Cara Ricketts, Yanna McIntosh, Seana McKenna, Tom Rooney and Mike Shara, to name just a few.  Each of these actors is amazing in his or her own right; together, they’re simply magical.  In each case, their strengths have been drawn out by Maraden, who has interacted with this script a number of times over her career as an actor and director.  She weaves this winter’s tale masterfully.

John Pennoyer’s simple yet exquisite design transports you to the two worlds of the play – Sicily and Bohemia – and shows you the huge contrast between them.  Sicilia is very courtly in its design: it’s an orderly world with a traditional elegance.  Bohemia, on the other hand, is a land of bright vibrant colours, as seen in the clothing of the somewhat quirky characters who inhabit it.  Pennoyer is in his 25th season at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, and many of us have come to adore his work.  The Winter’s Tale is sure to delight his fans.

This is a chance to catch a rarely produced masterpiece with an amazing cast and a great artistic team, all brought together under the direction of Marti Maraden.  The Winter’s Tale runs in rep from May 27 through September 25.

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Camillo………………………………………………………………………. Sean Arbuckle

Second Lady………………………………………………………………. Dalal Badr

A Gaoler/First Gentleman………………………………………………. Skye Brandon

Leontes………………………………………………………………………. Ben Carlson

Polixenes……………………………………………………………………. Dan Chameroy

First Officer………………………………………………………………… Victor Dolhai

A Mariner/Paulina’s Steward/Third Gentleman…………………… Victor Ertmanis

Cleomenes………………………………………………………………….. Xuan Fraser

Dorcas ………………………………………………………………………. Alana Hawley

Antigonus/Time……………………………………………………………. Randy Hughson

Florizel……………………………………………………………………….. Ian Lake

First Lord…………………………………………………………………… Roy Lewis

Mamillius……………………………………………………………………. Luke McCarroll

Hermione……………………………………………………………………. Yanna McIntosh

Paulina……………………………………………………………………….. Seana McKenna

Emilia…………………………………………………………………………. Ginette Mohr

Second Officer/Second Gentleman………………………………….. Paul Nolan

Dion………………………………………………………………………….. Christopher Prentice

Second Lord……………………………………………………………….. Jonathan Purdon

Perdita……………………………………………………………………….. Cara Ricketts

Autolycus……………………………………………………………………. Tom Rooney

Mopsa……………………………………………………………………….. Andrea Runge

Young Shepherd………………………………………………………….. Mike Shara

Archidamus/Old Shepherd…………………………………………….. Brian Tree

Young Shepherdess……………………………………………………… Abigail Winter-Culliford

Artistic Credits

Director……………………………………………………………………… Marti Maraden

Designer…………………………………………………………………….. John Pennoyer

Lighting Designer………………………………………………………….. Louise Guinand

Sound Designer……………………………………………………………. Todd Charlton

Composer…………………………………………………………………… Marc Desormeaux

Movement………………………………………………………………….. Shona Morris

Stunt Coordinator………………………………………………………… Simon Fon

Aerial Effects………………………………………………………………. Sven Johansson

Assistant Director…………………………………………………………. Thomas Morgan Jones

Assistant Designer………………………………………………………… Devon Bhim

Assistant Lighting Designer…………………………………………….. Michael Franzmann

Fight Captain………………………………………………………………. Xuan Fraser

Movement Captain……………………………………………………….. Victor Dolhai

Stage Manager…………………………………………………………….. Ann Stuart

Assistant Stage Manager……………………………………………….. Corinne Richards

Assistant Stage Manager……………………………………………….. Melissa Rood

Apprentice Stage Manager…………………………………………….. Katherine Arcus

Production Assistant……………………………………………………… Emilie Aubin

Production Stage Manager…………………………………………….. Julie Miles

Production Stage Manager…………………………………………….. Marylu Moyer

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3 thoughts on “The Winter’s Tale ~ Dress Rehearsal

  1. Saw this yesterday. Rather enjoyed it. A Shakespeare play I had never seen before (in play or film form) or read. It was refreshing to walk into a Shakespeare play and not have any clue what was going to happen.

  2. What a dress rehearsal!!

    I too saw this production yesterday and it was brilliant! Seanna McKenna stole every scene she was in which is hard to do with the emotion Ben Carlson was portraying! Blessed with an exceptional role and great comedic timing, Tom Rooney brought vibrant life to the character certainly every patron there would have emptied their wallets to Autolycus. Seeing several shows over the past few days this will stand out for years to come as one of the most enjoyable portrayals of A Winter’s Tale to grace the stage.

    My only criticism is that during the scene where Leontes begins his jealousy the upstage characters appear in slow motion which is somewhat distracting from a scene where the focus is Leontes. I appreciate the idea (it’s brilliant in fact) but I think it hurts more than it helps here.

    …and apparently Pennoyer’s Bohemia looks an awful lot like Mongolia…it worked….BRAVO everyone!

    Cheers!

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