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Department of Theatre to Present 'The Winter's Tale'

The SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Theatre will present Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” — with a contemporary twist — 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 28, in the Hartman Theatre, Myers Fine Arts building.

Directed and adapted by Dr. Shawna Mefferd Carroll, who worked with students from her Production Workshop course, this ensemble production has every actor taking on at least two roles.

“It’s been a real privilege to work with each and every one of my students, to watch them grow as artists and scholars. They are my collaborators; this production arose out of our collective energy and creative ideas,” Carroll said.

“The Winter’s Tale” is the most musical of Shakespeare’s plays. When his plays were first produced, actors wore contemporary costumes and sang the modern tunes of the era. Carroll and her students have done the same with this production, weaving today’s music into Shakespeare’s song and scenes.

“Audiences should expect a contemporary universe filled with tragedy, comedy, romance, magic and music,” said Carroll. “’The Winter’s Tale‘ is about love, time, hope, skepticism, and faith.”

In it, Leontes, king of Sicilia, is driven by raging jealousy. He believes his pregnant wife, Hermione, has been committing adultery with his best friend, Polixenes, king of Bohemia. He imprisons the two of them and flees for Bohemia. The king’s son, Mamillius, dies wasting away for his mother, and Hermione dies of grief. Leontes orders Antigonus to kill their newborn daughter. Antigonus cannot kill the child and leaves her on the shore of Bohemia where she is raised as the daughter of a shepherdess. Sixteen years later, the past catches up with present.

Shakespeare’s Sicilia is similar to our modern lives — full of restraint, stress and bustle. Leontes doubts everything — friendship, fidelity, even the gods.

Bohemia, on the other hand, is a much simpler kingdom, closer to nature. People in Bohemia live trusting lives filled with faith in other people and in the gods.

“Beyond the contrast of worldviews, the play examines the redemptive power of love, and, in this day and age, who couldn’t use a little of that?” Carroll said.

Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the Angell College Center for $10 general admission; $8 seniors, students and SUNY Plattsburgh faculty and staff; and $2 SUNY Plattsburgh students.

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