California Shakespeare Theater Presents A WINTER'S TALE, Now thru 10/20
California Shakespeare Theater has announced it will conclude its 2013 season with one of Shakespeare's rarely-performed gems, A Winter's Tale. Directed by Patricia McGregor and choreographed by Paloma McGregor, the sister team responsible for last season's critical and popular hit, Spunk, A Winter's Tale plays at the Bruns Amphitheater from tonight, September 25 through October 20.
The company of A Winter's Tale reunites five of the cast members of 2012's Spunk: Aldo Billingslea (Lord Windermere in Lady Windermere's Fan) as Polixenes and Ensemble; Associate Artist L. Peter Callender (Man and Superman) as Leontes, Shepherd and Ensemble; Margo Hall (American Night) as Paulina, Clown, and Ensemble; Omoze Idehenre (Clybourne Park, A.C.T.; MacBeth, Cal Shakes) as Hermione, Mopsa, and Ensemble; and Tyee Tilghman(American Night, Lady Windermere's Fan) as Florizel, Camillo, and Ensemble. In addition, making their Cal Shakes' debuts in the cast are: Tristan Cunningham (The Arsonists, Aurora; Midsummer Night's Dream, SF Shakes) as Perdita, Emilia and Ensemble; Christopher Michael Rivera (Macbeth andMuch Ado about Nothing, OSF; Othello, Hartford Stage) as Autolycus, Antigonus, and Ensemble; 11-year-old Akili Moree of Oakland and 9-year-old Zion Richardson of Union City alternating as the young prince Mamillius, and 16-year-old Veronica Larkin of Oakland and 17-year-old Mackenzie Kwok of San Francisco alternating as Second Lady, Dorcas, and Ensemble.
Set in the near future through a Narnia-esque door to fantastical lands, A Winter's Tale is at times comic, at times heartbreaking, and ultimately life-affirming, a family-friendly fairytale featuring music, miracles, dance, audience participation and, of course, Shakespeare's famous bear. "I love the art of storytelling, and A Winter's Tale is Shakespeare's love letter to the art of the story," says director Patricia McGregor. "Our tale is told by a traveling band of raconteurs who have many tricks up their sleeves, with Paulina and Autolycus as the ringleaders of this wild theatrical journey. We'll use music and dance to transport and transform The Players and the audience, as we invite everyone to participate in celebrations and ceremonies throughout the play."
Participation On and Off Stage: In keeping with the play's themes of faith and forgiveness, both the Triangle Lab, a joint partnership between Cal Shakes and San Francisco-based Intersection for the Arts + Campo Santo, and the onstage production will incorporate multiple opportunities for community participation and exploration. Some of the many onsite events include the chance for select audience members to appear in the play reading the "Time" speech that opens the second half of the evening; a free open-mic story sharing during the pre-performance Shout at the Bruns, hosted by Lady Windermere's Rami Margon on October 1 and 11; a flower-making station to create flowers that will be used onstage during the performance; the "Lost and Found"-themed Triangle Lab wall, and a video installation by Richmond Artists with Talent (RAW Talent).
Patricia McGregor (Director), who made her Cal Shakes' debut with last season's critically-acclaimed Spunk, is a Harlem-based director, writer, and deviser of new work. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of Katori Hall's Hurt Village at the Signature Theater company (NYC); Juan and John(CTG/Douglas and Public LAB); Yerma (SMU); Blood Dazzler (Harlem Stage); and Burnt Sugar Freaks JAmes Brown (the Apollo Theater and Summer Stage). She is currently developing Holding it Down with Grammy nominee Vijay Iyer and Mike Ladd at Harlem Stage; In the Cypher at the Drilling Company; and Girl Shake Loose Her Skin with Sonia Sanchez, Zakiyyah Alexander, and Imani Uzuri. As Associate Director of Fela! on Broadway, she coached Patti LaBelle in the role of Funmailayo. Other directing credits include Jelly's Last Jam, Romeo and Juliet, Four Electric Ghosts, Cloud Tectonics, Eleemosynary, The French Play, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, Sidewalk Opera, Dancing in the Dark, The Covering Skyline, In the Meantime. She has worked at venues including Broadway, NYSF Shakespeare in the Park, BAM, Second Stage, The Public Theater, the Kitchen, the O'Neill, Lincoln Center Institute, Exit Art, and Nuyorican Poetry Cafe. She cofounded Angela's Pulse with her sister, choreographer Paloma McGregor. Angela's Pulse creates vital choreoplays and fosters collaboration among artists, educators, organizers, academics and other diverse communities in order to illuminate under-told stories, infuse meaning into the audience experience, and animate progress through the arts. Ms. McGregor attended the Yale School of Drama where she was a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow and Artistic Director of the Yale Cabaret.