The winter’s tale
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Welcome to the People’s Light and Theatre Discovery Guide for THE WINTER’S TALE by William Shakespeare. This guide will enrich your experience of the production and is a great resource for all theatre-goers, not just teachers and students. Each issue will include these regular features: THE STORY & THE WRITERS, Pages 3-5 Includes information about the play’s plot, as well as the writers and composers who bring the story to the stage. THE WORLD OF THE PLAY, Pages 6-8 With many plays, it’s helpful to understand the larger world in which the play lives. These pages help frame the story in a historical, cultural, or artistic context. OUR PRODUCTION, Pages 9-11 This section features the designers of the production, the artisans who bring those designs to life, images of the set, costumes, and other production elements. It’s a glimpse of the amazing work that happens behind the scenes. THE ARTISTS & CHARACTERS, Pages 12-15 Photos of the actors and synopsis about the characters in the show. ENHANCING YOUR EXPERIENCE, Pages 16-18 This is a great resource for theatre-goers who want to dig a little deeper. It contains a listing of books, websites, and video links we’ve encountered while preparing for the production, along with thoughtprovoking questions for you to discuss with the actors after the show, or with your family and friends on the car ride home. RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS, Pages 19-21 Written speciﬁcally for teachers, this section includes discussion questions, classroom activities, and ideas for continued exploration of the play’s themes and ideas. SELF-GUIDED TOUR, Page 22 These activities are designed especially for young people to explore the play on their own. (The Self-Guided Tour for The Winter’s Tale is recommended for ages 10 and up.) ARTS DISCOVERY SPONSORS, Page 23 An expression of our gratitude for the funders who support Arts Discovery programming. We hope our Discovery Guide provides you with enjoyable reading and opportunities for exploration that make your theatre experience with us more rich. See you at the theatre!
THE STORY (You may find the character listing on page 12 to be helpful as you read.) Act 1, scene 1. Leontes’ palace. Leontes attempts to convince his childhood friend, Polixenes, to extend his visit that has already lasted nine months. Both discuss their remarkable sons, Mamillius and Florizel. Unable to persuade Polixenes, Leontes elicits the help of his wife, Hermione, who is nine months pregnant. When Hermione succeeds in persuading Polixenes to stay, Leontes becomes jealous of the affection between Hermione and Polixenes. Convinced they are having an affair, Leontes orders a reluctant Camillo to poison Polixenes. Camillo knows that Polixenes and Hermione are innocent, warns Polixenes of Leontes’ intent, and escapes to Bohemia with Polixenes and his train of servants. Act 2, scene 1. Leontes’ palace. Hermione’s lady attendants play with Mamillius and Hermione asks him to tell a story. Leontes discovers that Polixenes and Camillo have fled and believes they had been plotting against Leontes’ life. Leontes publicly accuses Hermione of adultery and Camillo of treason. Antigonus and other Lords defend Hermione. Leontes tells them that he has sent messengers to the oracle in Delphos to confirm his suspicions. Act 2, scene 2. Prison in Sicilia. Paulina is denied access to Hermione, but speaks with Emilia and discovers that Hermione has delivered a daughter while in prison. Paulina plans to present the baby to Leontes to calm his unfounded anger. Act 2, scene 3. Leontes’ palace. Leontes inquires about Mamillius, who has been ill since Hermione was accused of adultery. Paulina presents the baby to Leontes, but he believes it is Polixenes’ child and orders for the baby and Hermione to be burned. At the appeal of his Lords and Antigonus, Leontes rescinds these orders and commands Antigonus to take the baby to a remote place and abandon it. A servant announces that the messengers sent to the oracle have returned to Sicilia. Act 3, scene 1. Leontes’ palace. Hermoine is placed on trial but maintains her innocence. The oracle is read, proclaiming that Hermione, Polixenes, and Camillo are innocent and that Leontes will not have an heir if the banished baby is not found. Leontes rejects the oracle. A servant announces that Mamillius has died. Hermione faints and is taken out. Leontes repents. Paulina reenters and pronounces that Hermione has died and rages at Leontes. Leontes vows to mourn eternally. Act 3, scene 2. The shores of Bohemia. Antigonus arrives with a Mariner on the shores of Bohemia. He recounts a dream he had of Hermione and names the baby Perdita. Antigonous leaves the baby, but is then pursued and killed by a bear. The Old Shepherd, looking for his lost sheep, finds Perdita. The Shepherd’s son, the Clown, enters and recounts Antigonus’ death and the wreck of the Sicilian ship. The Shepherd and his son discover gold with the baby and take her home with them.
THE STORY (continued)* Act 4, scene 2. Polixenes’ palace. Camillo admits that he is homesick and he and Polixenes discuss the recent absence of prince Florizel. Polixenes decides to go in disguise to the Old Shepherd’s home to confirm rumors that Florizel has been spending time there. Act 4, scene 3. A road near the Shepherd’s cottage. Autolycus, a rogue, tells that he is recently unemployed and seeking income. He encounters the Clown, learns of the sheep-shearing festival, and picks his pocket. Act 4, scene 4. The sheep shearing festival Florizel, known as Doricles to all but Perdita, woos Perdita, hostess of the feast. Polixenes and Camillo, disguised, come to the feast as guests and are taken with Perdita’s beauty. There is much music, singing, and dancing and Autolycus comes to sell his wares. Polixenes discovers that Florizel and Perdita are in love and plan to marry and warns Florizel that he owes loyalty to his father. When Florizel casts off this duty, Polixenes removes his disguise, forbids Florizel from seeing Perdita again, and threatens to punish the Old Shepherd, the Clown, and Perdita. Camillo advises Florizel to flee to Sicilia with Perdita, predicting that Leontes, seeking forgiveness, will welcome them there. Autolycus enters, having sold all his wares and picked every pocket. Camillo has Florizel disguise himself by changing clothes with Autolycus. Autolycus intercepts the Shepherd and the Clown on their way to Polixenes to reveal how they found Perdita, and thus avoid punishment. Autolycus directs them to the ship where the king is boarding. The Shepherd agrees that Autolycus should act as their agent in presenting their case to the king and they go to board the ship. Act 5, scene 1. Leontes’ palace. Sicilian Lords attempt to convince Leontes that he has mourned enough and should marry again. Paulina reminds them of past events and the oracle. Leontes, still in mourning, yields to Paulina. Florizel and Perdita arrive at the palace. Florizel invents a story to explain their journey and his lack of attendants. As Leontes welcomes them, a servant announces that Polixenes and Camillo have arrived in Sicilia. Leontes discovers the truth of Florizel’s journey and goes to meet Polixenes. Act 5, scene 2. Before Leontes’ palace. Prompted by Autolycus, two Gentlemen and Emilia recount the revelation of Perdita’s true identity, the reunion between Leontes and Polixenes, Paulina’s reaction to Antigonus’ fate and meeting Perdita, and Perdita’s reaction to the story of her mother. Emilia reports that all are going to see Hermione’s statue, which had been secretly kept by Paulina. Autolycus blames himself for the good fortune of others and laments his honesty. The Clown and Shepherd comfort him and all go to see the statue. Act 5, scene 3. A chapel in Paulina’s house. Paulina reveals Hermione’s statue. As all marvel, Paulina claims that she can make the statue move. Calling on their faith, she awakens the statue with music and Hermione moves and speaks. Leontes begs her forgiveness. Hermione, Leontes, and Perdita are reunited. All exit to recount further details of their parts in this tale. *Act 4, scene 1 was cut from our production.
The writer William Shakespeare: The Later years By the time The Winter’s Tale appeared on stage, Shakespeare had already composed the majority of his works. The only plays yet unwritten were The Tempest, The Two Noble Kinsmen, Cardenio (which has since been lost), and Henry VIII. The majority of his early works were comedies. He then delved into composing tragedies; tragedy was understood to be a higher art form, and thus more prestigious. In his later years, his stories focused on romance and reconciliation. Some scholars speculate that this last shift marks his maturation as a writer. Others believe he simply had the financial means finally to write what pleased him, rather than pander to the whims and fancies of the court. The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest, two among his valedictory plays, both explore betrayal, loss, redemption, forgiveness, and reunion. In each, a family has been rendered asunder by the actions of one man, which precedes a separation of some years before a final, if magically arranged, reunion occurs. The Winter’s Tale considers many subjects upon which Shakespeare himself may have ruminated as he reflected on his life. Born and raised in the countryside of Warwickshire, Shakespeare moved into the world of the great city of London. In The Winter’s Tale, the tale spans the disparate worlds of the high court of Sicilia and the gentle pastures of Bohemia. Most of Shakespeare’s life passed under the reign of the Tudors, a family noted for their fierce internal struggle for control of the country and its faith. Intrigues and distrust within the court were natural, and this distrust spread as citizens were required to shift their loyalties with each new ruler. After decades of struggle, England, Scotland, and Ireland were united at last under James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England in 1603. Shakespeare died in 1616 during this brief era of a unified court, before the reign of Charles I and the English Civil War. Shakespeare also survived the death of his only son. Some of the questions raised within The Winter’s Tale reflect these experiences: Does obedience to a king trump a responsibility to ethics? Is it better to cajole a man in error or confront him with his faults? How and whom does grief destroy? What is the price of redemption? Can someone, no matter how heinous their actions, be forgiven? How much time does forgiveness take? How much for reconciliation?
Drawing of the Globe Theatre, with the BearBaiting arena depicted in the foreground.
Traditionally, a winter’s tale is a story told to those gathered around a warm fire on a cold and dark night. It’s not just any kind of story, though. In Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, the child Prince Mamillius whispers a story into his mother’s ear that is full of “sprites and goblins” which he proclaims is “best for winter.” This winter, People’s Light and Theatre brings you a story full of passion, friendship, jealousy, untimely death, adventures, shipwrecks, bear attacks, disguises, young lovers, tricksters, clowns, and miraculous events of renewal and rebirth. The very title of the play announces its fantastical construction. Not only is Shakespeare’s tale poised to entertain and amaze in unexpected ways, but we integrate the story into a unique festival event that will offer an exciting and memorable theater-going experience for young and old alike. The Winter’s Tale was written towards in the end of Shakespeare’s career and contains elements found in the best of his tragedies – a jealous king rages when he suspects his wife of infidelity, tyranny tears a court and family apart, and the untimely death of a beloved child causes an anguish that brings a certain clarity to what is important in life. But unlike Othello or King Lear, Shakespeare turns this dark and cold tale towards spring and offers us joy, music, reconciliation, restoration, and forgiveness that begins at a seasonal festival. It is this celebration of renewal manifested in the play’s revelry of nature’s turn from winter to spring that inspired the production vision of internationally acclaimed Guy Hollands, who will direct The Winter’s Tale. For this production, Hollands imagines an itinerant group of artisans who live on the outskirts of mainstream American society that have journeyed to Malvern, PA to celebrate the seasonal turn from winter to spring. The festivities include musical performances, dancing, rituals to banish the witch of winter, vending homemade products, and of course, a theatrical presentation of The Winter’s Tale which is central to the celebration. The unique campus of People’s Light will be transformed into festival grounds lit with hand-crafted lanterns. Members of the traveling troupe (who are also members of The Winter’s Tale cast) will meet audiences before they enter the theater with mulled cider and other tasty treats, inviting them to participate in festival activities before the formal performance begins. Audience members will also be invited to join the cast for post-show revelry at the Farmhouse Bistro, the restaurant and bar connected to People’s Light’s main stage building. Hollands is very interested in achieving a multigenerational feel to this traveling group of self-sustaining artists that make up the cast. Therefore, veteran People’s Light company members and experienced visiting artists will be joined by members of People’s Lights’ youth and teen Arts Discovery programs to shape and present the festival and performance.
BACKDROP PROGRESSION There are several large backdrops in The Winter’s Tale, and painting a canvas that’s around 20’ by 35’ is no easy task. Scenic artist Will Scribner must take the designer’s rendering, usually printed on 8 ½“ x 11” paper and translate them onto a MUCH larger surface. If you’ve ever used a grid in art class and filled in each square with a small puzzle piece of the drawing you’re copying, you have an idea of what this process requires. Will begins by outlining all of the major components in charcoal so these outlines can be erased after the backdrop is finished. The backdrop is painted layer by layer, filing in the largest sections first. (Larger sections of paint are more likely to shrink the canvas, so the canvas is usually stapled to the floor to keep it from wrinkling.) Then each color is added in, saving the smallest, most detailed sections until last. Most of this painting is done standing up, with the paintbrush attached to the end of a bamboo rod. After the paint is dry, Will uses a “flogger” (2” strips of cloth tied to end of a 4” stick, rather like an old mop) and literally flogs the canvas to dust away the charcoal outlines. Once the outlines are removed, he seals the backdrop to prevent paint bleeds or fading by using a large sprayer. (Picture captions, from top left to bottom right) Completed outlines of flower details; laying in the stripes; painting larger sections around detailed images; adding in the next color, a leafy green; almost finished with laying in colors; final detailing and blending.
COLLABORATION WITH WHEATON ARTS TIN CANS = LANTERNS! Director Guy Hollands and designer Philip Witcomb felt strongly that the scenic elements of The Winter’s Tale should look like the traveling troupe of artists cobbled them together from whatever materials they could find. As you watch the production, you’ll see a lot of creative up-cycling of everyday objects. You’ll also see lots of antlers. And sticks. And taxidermy. But we digress… Our Artistic Director Abigail Adams just happens to have a pretty famous brother who is a glass artist and sculptor. Hank Murta Adams, Creative Director at Wheaton Arts in Millville, NJ, used tin cans, paint trays, and other old metal junk to create beautiful rustic lanterns. These are strung outside the entrance to the theatre and in the lobby—almost like the world of The Winter’s Tale exploded out of the theatre and took over the property. Hank uses a propane torch to cut various patterns in the metal, does a little tin-can origami, and then bathes them in the flame of an acetylene torch. This blackens the metal and makes the contrast between the metal and the light inside more dynamic.
PEOPLE’S LIGHT & THEATRE COMPANY Abigail Adams, Artistic Director Grace E. Grillet, Managing Director Ellen Anderson, General Manager
THE WINTER’S TALE Playwright Director Production Manager Scenic Designer Costume Designer Lighting Designer Sound Design & Original Music Dramaturgy Stage Manager
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE GUY HOLLANDS CHARLES T. BRASTOW* PHILIP WITCOMB PHILIP WITCOMB LILY FOSSNER MICHAEL JOHN McCARTHY GINA PISASALE KELLY O’ROURKE *
THEATRE ARTISANS Technical Director Assistant Technical Director Scenic Painter Scenic Carpenter Master Electrician Assistant Master Electrician Costume Shop Manager Cutter/Draper Wardrobe Properties Master Assistant Properties Master
JOSEPH FRANZ DYLAN JAMISON WILL SCRIBNER CHRIS WILSON GREGORY SCOTT MILLER CHRIS HALLENBECK MARLA JURGLANIS ABBIE WYSOR BRIDGET ANNE BRENNAN ELIZABETH STUMP SARAH PIERCE
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
CHARACTERS The cast consists of an ensemble composed of itinerant artisans led by a Troupe Leader. This troupe performs The Winter’s Tale, a story of rebirth and renewal, in a celebration to mark the passing of winter and the arrival of spring. Members of the troupe find themselves portraying various characters within Shakespeare’s play. Listed below are short descriptions for every character within The Winter’s Tale, given by country of origin.
SICILIA Leontes Hermione Mamillius Paulina Antigonus Camillo Emilia Gaoler Judges Ladies, Lords Steward Mariner
king of Sicilia, best friend of Polixenes, proud yet troubled queen of Sicilia, daughter of the Emperor of Russia, beloved for her virtue and grace son of Leontes and Hermione, prince of Silicia a lady of the court and Antigonus’ wife, loyal and protective a lord and Paulina’s husband, dependable and level-headed lord and trusted advisor to Leontes, astute and practical gentlewoman attending Hermione, trusted assistant jailer responsible for the solitary confinement of Hermione arbiters presiding over the trial of Hermione members of the royal court, torn between loyalties to the king and the queen messenger of the court a sailor aboard the vessel which takes Antigonus to Bohemia
a briefly-met narrator connecting the events of Sicilia to those in Bohemia
BOHEMIA Polixenes Florizel Shepherd Clown Perdita Autolycus Mopsa & Dorcas Shepherds Shepherdesses Farmers
king of Bohemia, best friend of Leontes, convivial but stubborn son of Polixenes and prince of Bohemia, young and determined a lowly countryside shepherd, simple but honest the Shepherd’s son, a bit of a fool and source for merriment a young girl raised by the Shepherd and Clown, gracious and self-aware wandering trickster and rogue, scheming and inventive shepherdesses neighbors and friends of the Shepherd attending the festival
Bernardo Cubría* Florizel Thanks everyone at People’s Light for this amazing experience. Favorite credits include Luis in American Jornalero (INTAR), The Man in A Summer’s Day (Rattlestick Playwrights), Hamlet in Hamlet (New Perspectives Theatre), Manuelo in Boleros for the Disenchanted (Richmond, VA), Marido in Sangre (Central Park SummerStage), and Ed in This is Fiction (Cherry Lane). He’s a proud member of Inviolet Repertory Theatre Company. Film: The Truth About Lies, Death of an Ally, The Cutting Room.www.bernardocubria.com Peter DeLaurier* Antigonus/Shepherd Peter is an ensemble member, an Artistic Associate, and has been with PLTC since 1981. Recent productions include Of Mice and Men and Mr. Hart & Mr. Brown. He has acted and directed extensively with the Lantern Theater and other local theatres. He has founded theatres, won and lost awards, and toured nationally and internationally. But Peter’s greatest achievement was getting Ceal Phelan to spend the last 41 years with him on and off stage.
Melanye Finister* Paulina Melanye was last seen at PLTC playing Louise in Seven Guitars. She is a Teaching Artist and has been a resident company member at People’s Light since 1991. She has also worked for Arden Theatre Company, Flashpoint Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Venture Theatre, and The Walnut Street Theatre. Melanye is a board member at Stockton Rush Bartol and holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. For David with love.
Saige Hassler* Perdita A company member at People’s Light, her first production at age six was A Doll’s House. Since then she has appeared in over twenty shows at PLTC. Favorites: The Traveling Lady, Village Fable, The Secret Garden, and Dimly Perceived Threats To The System. TV: ER, Veronica Mars, C.S.I., Grey’s Anatomy, Cold Case, Without a Trace, LIfe On A Stick, Samurai Girl, Ghost Whisperer, and Racing For Time. Love to Rod and Floyd!
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
Nancy McNulty* Hermione Nancy is thrilled to be making her PLTC debut with this production. NYC & regional credits include The Public Theatre, New York Stage and Film, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Sundance Theatre Lab, and more. Nancy holds an MFA from The Actors Studio Drama School, coaches Dialects in New York and is happily married to actor Tim McGeever. Nancy is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio. For Tutu. Christopher Patrick Mullen* Leontes Recent: Mr. Hart & Mr. Brown (PLTC), The Runner Stumbles (Off Broadway), First National Tour of West Side Story. PLTC: The Emperor’s New Clothes, Gossamer, King Lear. Others: When You Comin’ Back Red Ryder (Retro Productions); Candide and Assassins (Arden Theatre); Dracula, Midsummer, and Hamlet (Orlando Shakespeare Theatre); The Pavilion (Chester Theatre Company). Twenty-three productions with The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival including Hamlet, Twelfth Night, Dracula, Charlie’s Aunt, and Irma Vep. Television: Law & Order. Graduate of DeSales University. Steven Novelli* Camillo Recently: Roy Cohn in The Wilma Theater production of Angels in America. At People’s Light – Jimmy in Fallow, Ensemble in The Return of Don Quixote, and Halvard Solness in The Master Builder. Other roles at PLTC include Gloucester in King Lear and Saladin in Nathan the Wise. Directed The Secret of Sherlock Holmes and Tuesdays with Morrie for People’s Light. A member of the resident company since 1974, he now serves as Artistic Associate.
Pete Pryor* Autolycus Pete is an Associate Artistic Director and proud company member at PLTC. He is also the co-founder and former Producing Artistic Director of 1812 Productions. For seven years, he has been the resident artist drama instructor at the Pathway School where he directs three musical productions each school year. His play Beautiful Boy was part of our Community Matters reading series and was produced last season at People’s Light. Pete is a Lunt-Fontanne fellow and Independence Fellowship Artist and winner of four Barrymore Awards.
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
Jerry Richardson* Clown Jerry Richardson, seen at PLTC in This Wonderful Life and Of Mice and Men, has appeared (in NYC and regionally) at: Ensemble Studio Theatre, 59E59, The Atlantic, Signature Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, The Folger, Cape Cod Playhouse, The Fulton Opera House, American Shakespeare Center and others. Recent Film and TV appearances include The Producers, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Miraculous Year (a pilot for HBO), Guiding Light, and Homicide. www.jerry-richardson.com.
Mary Elizabeth Scallen* Emilia MB is a long-time company member. Recent People’s Light appearances include Fallow, Hatchetman, Legacy of Light, and King Lear. She spent 2012 performing both parts of Angels in America at the Wilma. She’s also worked with the Lantern, the Arden, Interact, PlayPenn, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, and Weston Theatre (VT). She teaches acting at Penn and consults for FAIMER, an international medical education foundation. Love to TShot.
Greg Wood* Polixenes At PLTC: Dividing the Estate and Legacy of Light. Other recent credits include: Herbie in Gypsy and Mr. Myers in Witness for the Prosecution for the Fulton Theatre, Prospero in The Tempest and King John in King John for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival where he has been a company member for the past nineteen years playing roles such as Hamlet, Richard III, Antony in Antony & Cleopatra, and Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac.
*Member, Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers.
Michael John McCarthy, Composer/Musical Director/Musician MJ is a Cork-born, Glasgow-based composer, musician, and songwriter. Theatre companies he has worked with include the National Theatre of Scotland, Grid Iron, Vox Motus, macrobert, Dundee Repertory Theatre, Theatre Uncut, and Playgroup. He has composed and recorded music for BBC Radio and has also toured throughout the UK, Europe, and Japan as a member of the bands Zoey Van Goey and Lord Cut-Glass. Jay Ansill, Musician Jay Ansill has composed music for Lee Breuer’s Porco Morto and Summa Dramatica and is currently working on Breuer’s Glass Guignol. Jay received an Independence Foundation grant to travel to Mallorca to learn Catalan folk music. He has performed and recorded with a wide variety of performers including the legendary Catalan singer Maria del Mar Bonet, who recorded Jay’s setting of Robert Graves’ poem “The Secret Land,” translated by the poet’s daughter Lucia Graves. Liam Snead, Mopsa Mac Snead, Dorcas Sarah Kirk, First Lady YOUNG ENSEMBLE TROUPE Anna Bahn, Nathaniel Brastow, Anthony Catalano-Johnson, Mark Donohue, Deanna Drennan, Sam Goldman, Adam Ingram, Jessica Ivey, Alexis Pyne, Seraina Schottland, Sarah Weston, Annajane E. Williams
BOOKS WITH SIMILAR THEMES Incantation by Alice Hoffman In Encaleflora, Spain, Estrella contentedly plans her future with her best friend Catalina. When the two witness a book burning in the plaza, Estrella is disturbed as much by her friend’s blithe attitude as by the beating of the book’s owner. As the tide of violence grows against Marranos, or Spanish Jews, a betrayal threatens to destroy not only Estrella’s family but her very life. Connection: Betrayal, loss of family, tragedy, hope The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Liesel Meminger isn’t the only one who steals books; Death, occasionally, steals them, too. Weighed down by souls and memories, Death decides to tell a story. It’s just a little one, really. Accordion-loving foster fathers and runty, wonderful boys down the street, a prizefighting Jew and a fanatical German town, a story of one small girl who steals books and the power of words. Connection: Loss of family, adoption, redemption The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan Jason wakes up on the back of a school bus holding hands with an unknown girl, Piper. Granted, she seems nice, but he has no idea what’s happened to him. Shortly thereafter, he, Piper, and Leo, who claims to be Jason’s best friend, are whisked away and sent on a quest to retrieve Jason’s memory, foil a betrayal, and prevent the rising of a vengeful giant. Just who is Jason and what on earth is happening? Connection: Loss of family, betrayal, quest, some redemption Silas Marner by George Eliot The language may be a bit archaic, but Eliot paints a thoughtful portrait of life in merry old England. Silas Marner, betrayed by his one friend, resettles in the village of Raveloe where he amasses wealth as a weaver. While the townsfolk initially regard him with skepticism and suspicion, a calamity unites them on his behalf. The truth of a crime committed and the freedom it delivers arrive many years later. Connection: Betrayal, fleeing to a distant land, forgiveness, rebirth, renewal The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman A baby boy escapes the triple homicide of his family by the man Jack. Wandering into the town graveyard, the dead residents there vow to protect him until he grows up. Guided by Silas and his ghostly family, Nobody Owens grows, encounters the underworld within the graveyard gates and the real world beyond them, and faces the threat to his existence: the man Jack and the Jacks-of-All-Trades. Connection: Loss of family, adoption and unknown parentage, prophecies
WEBSITES AND VIDEOS The Winter’s Tale Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/exitpursuedbybearRAWR We’ve been tracking the development of this production since our Summer Lab in 2011 when we first met director Guy Hollands. Visit our page to view costume renderings by Philip Witcomb, day-by-day photos of the progression of the technical elements, “Winterviews” with the cast, and MUCH more! Shakespeare Unlocked http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/shakespeare/ BBC Two’s television series in which members of the RSC “unlock” various scenes from popular Shakespearean plays as part of the London 2012 Festival. (Note: Only clips from certain episodes are available online.) People’s Light Offices Get “Winter-Bombed” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTsHYDrMekw So, we're all just sitting at our desks, minding our own business, and a parade of actors decided to “Winter Bomb” us with a processional and serenade! Leontes Wants His Blankey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGFEeOXN9Gk A quick, slightly wacky “Winterview” with Christopher Patrick Mullen, who plays Leontes, from the rehearsal in which the director decided that Leontes would be lurking, wrapped in a “blankey,” as he broods over Hermione’s perceived infidelity. Artists Growing Over Time http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=396077863815458&set=vb.373731202716791&type=3&theater “Winterview” with cast member Mary Elizabeth Scallen (Emilia) who talks about what it’s like to work with Christopher Patrick Mullen (Leontes) and Greg Wood (Polixenes) over the course of several years. The Temper of a King http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=395553540534557&set=vb.373731202716791&type=3&theater We caught actor Greg Wood on lunch break to ask him about his character Polixines. (Guest appearance by Daisy, our Artistic Director’s faithful companion.) Morris Dancing http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=urmCi4DNsYA Morris Dancing is a big part of our approach to The Winter's Tale. Here's a peek into this Scottish community ritual. Random Act of Culture at the Exton Square Mall http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My4KmntTZC8 Some members of the Teen Summerstage 2012 ensemble perform 'The Derby Tup.' A tradition Scottish Morris Dance.) Performed at Exton Mall's back to school event on September 8th, presented by People's Light and Theatre.
the buzz: Conversation topics for the car ride home During our Summer Lab of 2011, when we first started exploring The Winter’s Tale, we had a LOT of questions. Quite a few ensemble members really didn’t like the play. They found Leontes to be an unsympathetic tyrant and they were gob-smacked that Hermione would chose to forgive him. We spent a great deal of time asking questions and putting ourselves in each character’s shoes so we could see things from their point of view and better understand the story. Our best discoveries about the play happened in hallways and around picnic tables as we chatted during breaks, grappling with the many mysteries of the play. Here are some of the questions that came up in those conversations. We’re curious what your thoughts are in response to reading or seeing our production of The Winter’s Tale. •
True or False: There is such a thing as an unforgiveable action. (E.g. Leontes’ accusation that Hermione has been unfaithful, and the tragedy that follows from this.)
Does a person’s bloodline or class determine his or her goodness? (Polixenes makes several observations about Perdita having grace and manners that he wouldn’t have imagined in a lowly shepherdess.)
What do you think about Camillo’s choice to say he will obey Leontes’ order to kill Polixenes, though later he chooses to help Polixenes flee? Are there some orders that shouldn’t be followed? When is it right to go against authority?
Is the message from the Oracle of Apollo a self-fulfilling prophecy, or a coincidence of individual choices that just happen to match what the oracle said? (The oracle proclaims that, “Polixenes is blameless; Camillo a true subject; Leontes a jealous tyrant; his innocent babe truly begotten; and the king shall live without an heir, if that which is lost be not found.”)
Now that you’ve seen the worlds of Sicilia and Bohemia, where would you rather live?
Does Leontes get what he deserves?
How did the designer’s choices in scenery, lighting, costumes, and make-up help tell the story? Did the design help make things clearer or more confusing?
What will you remember most about coming to see The Winter’s Tale?
The Drowning of Marzanna or Frost Maiden, Topienie Marzanny Polish Spring Welcome Festival - Powitanie Wiosny By Barbara Rolek Pagan Roots
In every culture, where the winter is harsh and long, people eagerly await the arrival of spring and search for its signs. In Poland, the return of the beloved storks from warmer climates is one such sign and precipitates preparations for the Drowning of Marzanna (topienie Marzanny), also known as the Frost Maiden and Winter Witch. This holdover from pagan times used to take place on the fourth Sunday of Lent, but these days takes place on the first day of spring -- March 21. It's a chance to symbolically "kill" or bury winter and welcome in spring, rebirth, new crops and the warmth of the sun. The Marzanna, symbolizing winter, death, disease, starvation, and all evil, is a braided straw female effigy dressed in white or local folk costumes and adorned with beads (coral in the south of Poland and amber in central and northern Poland) and ribbons. In Silesia, she is dressed in a beautiful wedding dress with a wreath on her head. Some villagers still carry the Marzanna from house to house. Eventually, she is drowned in a river, pond, lake, or simply a big bucket of water. Sometimes, before dousing her, the effigy is set on fire. As the marzanna is carried out of the village, others carry in green branches adorned with ribbons, beads and flowers representing spring. These days, however, the Drowning of Marzanna has become an excuse to party and for children to play hooky from school. In the late 1990s, the Polish Department of Education declared March 21 a school holiday known as Truant's Day. While there are no regular classes, school activities are organized and students are allowed to wear masks, funny costumes, and generally act silly. Other Eastern Europeans Celebrate the Drowning of Marzanna
The Drowning of Morena is a traditional folk festival in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. In Russia, Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week, is a six- or seven-day feast celebrated the week before Lent begins, when blini, representing the sun, are eaten with abandon. This holiday serves two purposes -- to welcome in spring and as a way to use up all the dairy products and rich foods in a household before the fasting of Lent. In Bulgaria, Baba Marta Day is celebrated on March 1 to hasten the arrival of spring.
This exercise can be used with any of Shakespeare’s text. We’ve chosen Paulina’s speech to Leontes from Act 3 Scene 2 as an example.
PAULINA What studied torments, tyrant, hast for me? What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling? In leads or oils? what old or newer torture Must I receive, whose every word deserves To taste of thy most worst? Thy tyranny Together working with thy jealousies, Fancies too weak for boys, too green and idle For girls of nine, O, think what they have done And then run mad indeed, stark mad! for all Thy by-gone fooleries were but spices of it. That thou betray'dst Polixenes,'twas nothing; That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant And damnable ingrateful: nor was't much, Thou wouldst have poison'd good Camillo's honour, To have him kill a king: poor trespasses, More monstrous standing by: whereof I reckon The casting forth to crows thy baby-daughter To be or none or little; though a devil Would have shed water out of fire ere done't: Nor is't directly laid to thee, the death Of the young prince, whose honourable thoughts, Thoughts high for one so tender, cleft the heart That could conceive a gross and foolish sire Blemish'd his gracious dam: this is not, no, Laid to thy answer: but the last,—O lords, When I have said, cry 'woe!' the queen, the queen, The sweet'st, dear'st creature's dead, and vengeance for't Not dropp'd down yet.
1. In a circle, ask students to choose one line from this speech. Choose a line that is one or two verse lines. Everyone say their line on the count of three - in unison. 2. Now, choose a POWER WORD in your line that captures the meaning of the line - a verb or noun. Avoid prepositions, and pronouns. Say that word in unison on the count of three. 3. Now choose a gesture that communicates that power word. Perform that gesture WITHOUT the word on the count of three. Imagine that that gesture was performed at an energy level of two or three (on the scale of 1 - 10). 4. Now, do the gesture again at a ten! 5. Now say the word and gesture together! 6. Repeat this process with a second POWER WORD. 7. You have three minutes to rehearse your line, memorize it and INCLUDE both gestures in your performance! 8. Get back in the circle and perform each line. 9. What does the gesture do to the word? Remember that you don’t ultimately need to gesture in performance, but using gesture helps you explore the richness and meaning of the power words in rehearsal.
When daffodils2 begin to peer 3, With heigh 4, the doxy 5 over the dale 6, Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year 7, For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.8
We had the opportunity to work with Scottish musician and Composer Michael John McCarty to create original music to accompany Shakespeare’s lyrics.
The white sheet bleaching 9 on the hedge, With heigh, the sweet birds, O how they sing! Doth set my pugging 10 tooth an edge 11, For a quart of ale is a dish for a king 12.
This song “Daffodils” is part of the original text of The Winter’s Tale; however, it is often cut from the script for performance. (Usually to shorten the play for presentday audiences.)Director Guy Hollands chose to keep it in as an expression of the joy the Bohemians feel in anticipation of
The lark, that tirra-lirra 13 chants, With heigh, with heigh, the thrush 14 and the jay15, Are summer songs for me and my aunts 16 While we lie tumbling in the hay. 1
From Act 4, scene 3. This song alludes to the four seasons. Spring daffodils mark the end of winter and Autolycus and his lady friends listen to summer songs while “enjoying themselves” in the autumn hay. Winter is over, and life, quickening again, hasn’t been extinguished. The desire for stealing, drinking, having sex, or just listening to birds has survived. 2 Signal the return of spring and are also associated with jealousy and early death, as they were thought to perish before midday in summer. Robert Greene calls them “fit for jealous dotterels.” 3 Appear, with reference to Spring’s appearance. 4 A shout for joy! Also a country dance. 5 A rogue or beggar’s woman or mistress (a “loose woman” or prostitute.) 6 Traipsing over the hills and valleys of common land and open fields. 7 Springtime 8 Life-giving blood flows as the pale (paleness or domain) of winter declines. 9 Drying or whitening. The theft of sheets drying on hedges was common in Shakespeare’s time. 10 Shakespeare coined this word from puggard, a slang word for thief. 11 The sight of linens drying whets a thief’s appetite for stealing. It’s also a reference to sexual desire. 12 The money made from selling stolen sheets will buy a quart of ale, which is a dish fit for a king. 13 Representation of the skylark’s warble 14 A woodland bird noted for is song. 15 A songbird; also slang for a prostitute 16 Wenches and mistresses
SHAKESPEARE INSULT KIT
Everyone needs a snappy comeback once in a while, and Shakespeare has some amazing words you may want to try the next time you need some good words. To custom-build your own Shakespearian insult, combine one word from each of the columns below, and throw a “thou” in front of it. Here’s one to get you started:
“Thou dankish, earth-vexing, flap-dragon!” COLUMN 1 bawdy beslubbering bootless churlish dankish dissembling droning fawning fobbing gleeking goatish impertinent jarring loggerheaded lumpish mammering mangled mewling paunchy pribbling puking reeky roguish ruttish saucy spleeny spongy surly tottering vain venomed villainous weedy
COLUMN 2 bat-fowling beef-witted beetle-headed boil-brained dismal-dreaming dizzy-eyed doghearted earth-vexing elf-skinned flap-mouthed fly-bitten fool-born guts-griping half-faced hasty-witted hedge-born hell-hated idle-headed ill-breeding ill-nurtured knotty-pated plume-plucked pottle-deep pox-marked reeling-ripe rough-hewn rude-growing rump-fed sheep-biting spur-galled swag-bellied tardy-gaited unchin-snouted
COLUMN 3 baggage barnacle bladder boar-pig clotpole coxcomb codpiece dewberry flap-dragon foot-licker fustilarian gudgeon harpy hedge-pig horn-beast hugger-mugger joithead lewdster lout maggot-pie malt-worm miscreant moldwarp mumble-news nut-hook pigeon-egg pignut puttock ratsbane scut skainsmate strumpet whey-face
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