The Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies will launch its 2020 mainstage show, The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare this week on March 5 with eight performances that run until March 14 at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse, 79 St George Street. Directed by Graham Abbey, a leading actor and director at the Stratford Festival, and performed by the students of DRM403Y1: Advanced Performance: Mainstage, this year’s production is sure to entertain.
“I am immensely proud of this group of artists and the story they have built together,” says Abbey. “To tackle The Winter’s Tale can be intimidating on the best of days.”
The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s late romances and is a classic story of destructive jealousy and the endearing power of faith, which is set against a fairy tale backdrop of magic, illusion, and true love. This adaptation has a cast of eight actors playing the roles of 16 characters set between two worlds that span over 16 years.
“The Winter's Tale is a story of hope, loss, fate, and family,” says actor and DRM403 student, Dante Camarda, who plays the roles of Cleomenes and Florizel. “Life is full of beauty and ugliness, it also has its fair share of surprises; The Winter's Tale really hones in on the combination of those three states that life can travel through.”
When Leontes, Queen of Sicilia, accuses her wife Hermione of an infidelity with her oldest friend Polixenes, this accusation takes the audience 16 years into the future to the shores of the mythical Bohemia, with fairy gold and bears, the play launches into an unimaginable journey of rebirth, redemption and forgiveness.
At the beginning of the year, the DRM403 students workshopped a number of scenes from classic plays such as Measure for Measure, Othello, and The Tempest. From those performances, Abbey selected The Winter’s Tale, feeling it would work best with this year’s DRM403 ensemble.
Abbey describes The Winter’s Tale as having an extraordinary transformative power with an ability to break through the confines of theatrical conventions.
When asked about his experience working on this play, Camarda says, “Lots of blood, sweat, and tears, went into this production. From the start, we as a collective tried to push ourselves as hard as we could to create something really intimate, sincere, and special.”
“It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to pass down the knowledge I gleaned as a young actor to a group of hard working and talented young artists at a similar stage in their careers as I was when I was first introduced to this play," says Abbey.
Don’t miss this clever and creative take of The Winter’s Tale running from March 5 to 7 at 7pm, March 8 at 2pm, and March 11 to 14 at 7 pm. To order tickets, visit cdtpswinterstale.eventbrite.ca.
To read more about the show, visit: uoft.me/WintersTale