Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0630. Monday, 21 August 1995.
Date: Monday, 21 Aug 1995 09:55:02 -0400
Subject: Q: Winter's Tale
Here's another director of an upcoming production who would love to have all
the ideas SHAKESPERians have to share.
Auditions are next week for Winter's Tale. I've done all my usual reading and
research, and I think I'm at least ready to begin, but it never hurts to have
more ideas to wrestle with.
So, what are your thoughts on WT? What problems have you had in production,
and how have you solved them? What are the dangers in the text?
I have very few specific questions, because I'd rather hear what everyone has
to share rather than start a debate. [Here? on SHAKSPER??]
1) I'm assuming that if we don't allow Leontes full play in his reign of
terror, and if we make him really really repentant, then the audience will not
notice how insane Hermione must be to hide for 16 years and not nurse a grudge.
Has this been true in other productions?
2) In playing with the idea of Time, I've cut the Act IV chorus and set
the first half of the play "in the past." In other words, it becomes almost a
flashback. Costumes, set, all in shades of gray, black, silver, etc. Then
when we hit "the present," we do the Wizard of Oz thing and burst forth in
color. I was thinking of beginning the play with Camillo alone on stage,
"remembering," if that seems possible. What are your thoughts?
3) Our audiences are small town and loyal. They'll slog through almost
Anything with us and like it; fortunately, we rarely have given them bad stuff.
With WT, we are not synopsizing the end of the play in publicity, since none
of our audience knows it. The possibility exists that the statue scene may
come as a genuine surprise. No question here, just information.
Any other thoughts/ideas/recommendations? We'll digest anything you have to
Has anyone else noticed that, alone of all the characters, the Clown does not
age between Part I and Part II? It's 16 years alter, and he's still the same
adolescent idiot he was at the end of Act III. I'm wondering if the audience
will catch *that* one.
Newnan Community Theatre Co.