The Winter’s Tale, American Shakespeare Center 2015
My Director’s Note.
Costume Design by Jenny McNee. Cast: James Keegan, Abbi Hawk, Sarah Fallon, John Harrell, René Thornton Jr, Patrick Earl, Stephanie Holladay Earl, Chris Johnston, Alli Glenzer, Patrick Midgley, Rick Blunt. Photos by Lindsey Walters, Miscellaneous Media Photography.
Here’s a Guest Director Spotlight the ASC did with me. Thumbnail pic is hilarious.
Typical of Shakespeare’s other late romances, The Winter’s Tale is a roller coaster of comic heights suddenly rushing into tragic valleys. Bennett smooths out the ride, presenting it as a progression to great joy with unbearable, unnecessary heartache along the way. She nevertheless maintains Shakespeare’s ballsy juxtapositions.
This reviewer noticed a ‘subtly feminist slant’ that he credited to me, though I didn’t change anything in the play to deliberately achieve what he noticed. I do think the women in this play are pretty badass, though. And they are definitely people.
Full review here.
In staging William Shakespeare’s genre-defying play The Winter’s Tale, companies face three main obstacles: the bear, the time, and the statue. If the production successfully addresses those problems with a coherent and committed cast, the production flourishes. Luckily for audiences at the American Shakespeare Center, guest director Jenny Bennett crafted a heartwarming and heartbreaking fairy-tale, that barely flinched at the imposing challenges…
The contrast of the regal, honorable, and wronged with the clownish, absurd, and endearing threatens to overwhelm or to confuse, but this play, and this production, relishes in the contradictions and contrasts, thrusting audiences from tragedy to comedy to romance with unrepentant abandon. The result is what the title of the play promises: a fairy-tale full of transformation, darkness, true love, and redemption.
Full review here.