Director Patricia McGregor’s early thoughts on her fall 2013 production of A Winter’s Tale.
What does it take to awaken your faith?
At some point in our lives, each one of us is sure to have suffered from the diseased itch of jealousy or paranoia; perhaps we’ve endured the consequences of succumbing to the scratch, as well. A Winter’s Tale plunges us deep into our personal dark corners, where insecurity and fear battle against logic and love. As Leontes unleashes his irrational wrath, the strength of Hermione’s grace is put to the ultimate test.
My production—told as a fable by Paulina and her traveling group of gypsies—will enliven the muscular and miraculous natures of forgiveness and faith: Bohemia and Sicilia will be drawn to emphasize the correlating restraint and playfulness of the literal and psychological landscapes of the “twinned lambs” (Leontes and Polixinies). Using the simple magic of traveling storytellers and the natural beauty of the Orinda hills, we will evoke the elements that draw us toward and away from our best natures.
While this is a tale that, on the surface, has clear markers between good and bad actions, I’m interested in digging deeper in order to explore how each character holds both iconic attributes and also their opposite. Is Leontes driven to exert his power due to his fragility? Is jovial Polixines a tyrant when crossed? Part tale of warning against the decayed mind or heart, part celebration of the triumph of hope and love, A Winter’s Tale is all magical realism and rugged theatricality.
This timeless fairytale has a truth and power that resonates with all ages.