William Shakespeare's THE WINTER'S TALE Comes to Hartford Stage Next Month

Performances run April 13 - May 7, 2023.

By: Mar. 16, 2023
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William Shakespeare's THE WINTER'S TALE Comes to Hartford Stage Next Month

Over its nearly sixty-year history, Hartford Stage has become synonymous with breathtaking productions of Shakespeare. Since its very first production, Othello in 1964, Connecticut audiences and beyond have traveled to downtown Hartford to experience world-class interpretations of The Bard's favorites and lesser-known works. This spring Hartford Stage Artistic Director Melia Bensussen marks her first time directing Shakespeare at the award-winning theater with the company's first-ever production of The Winter's Tale. An awe-inspiring fable filled with fury and forgiveness, The Winter's Tale will run April 13 - May 7 at Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street in downtown Hartford, CT.

King Leontes, his pregnant wife Hermione, and their young son seem like a perfect royal family - until he's consumed by the fear his wife has been unfaithful. In a fit of tyrannical rage, he makes dire accusations that destroy all that is precious to him. Sixteen years later a new generation has emerged, and in this time-hopping romance, the idealism of the young and the regrets of the old collide. Shakespeare's mastery of storytelling is on full display, reminding us that even after a harsh winter, spring will return, if we have faith in each other and ourselves.

"The Winter's Tale has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays because of how much it speaks of transformation and possibility," shared Bensussen. "This play celebrates those themes with great wit, great beauty, and some of the most amazing poetry."

Bensussen is an acclaimed interpreter of Shakespeare having staged numerous productions across the country. Some of her most noted productions include Macbeth for Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA; Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Twelfth Night; North Carolina Shakespeare Festival 's The Merchant of Venice; The Taming of the Shrew, and Love's Labour's Lost in Kansas City; and Twelfth Night (Winner of the 2015 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Production), The Winter's Tale, The Taming of the Shrew and The Merchant of Venice for Actors' Shakespeare Project in Boston, MA. to name a few. She is a contributor to Routledge's Love's Labour's Lost: Critical Essays and is featured in Women Directing Shakespeare in America by Nancy Taylor.

Hartford Stage has mounted over 30 productions of Shakespeare since its inception in 1963. Founding Artistic Director Jacques Cartier directed Shakespeare the first three seasons of the company's existence. In 1980, with the arrival of Mark Lamos as artistic director, the theater saw a major elevation in its reputation for innovative and sensitive productions of The Bard, leading to the company being honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1989. Darko Tresnjak (artistic director 2011-2018) brought his passion for Shakespeare to the company, directing seven breathtaking productions during his eight-year tenure.

The Cast and Creative Team of The Winter's Tale

The Winter's Tale features Jotham Burrello as Mamillius; Nathan Darrow as Leontes; Daniel Davila Jr. as Florizel; Carman Lacivita as Camillo; John Maddaloni as Clown; Delfin Gökhan Meehan as Perdita; Pearl Rhein as Autolycus; Omar Robinson as Polixenes; Jamie Ann Romero as Hermione; Jeremy Webb as Antigonus, Shepherd; and Lana Young as Paulina.

The ensemble includes Hartt School acting students from the University of Hartford: Andrew Black, Hannah Moore, Ana Laura Santana, and Carson Timmons.

The creative team includes Director Melia Benssusen, Choreographer Misha Shields, Scenic Designer Cameron Anderson, Costume Designer Whitney Locher, Lighting Designer Evan Anderson, Original Music and Sound Design by Pornchanok Kanchanabanca, Music Director Liam Bellman-Sharpe, Voice/Dialect Coach Julie Foh, Wig and Hair Designer Carissa Thorlakson, Fight Director Ted Hewlett, Dramaturg Victoria Abrash, Stage Manager Nicole Wiegert, and Assistant Stage Manager Theresa Stark.

The Winter's Tale will run Thursday, April 13 through Sunday, May 7, 2023. Tuesday through Thursday evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday evening performances begin at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, Sunday and select Wednesday Matinees begin at 2:00 p.m..

To celebrate the first performance of the production, there will be live music in the lobby before the first preview performance of The Winter's Tale on April 13, 2023.

Tickets for The Winter's Tale start at $30. Discounts are available for students and groups. Tickets can be purchased by visiting HartfordStage.org calling (860) 527-5151, or visiting the Hartford Stage Box Office at 50 Church Street.

A mask-required performance will be on Saturday, April 29 at 2:00 p.m.; an open-captioned performance will be Sunday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m., and an audio-described performance will be Saturday, May 6 at 2:00 p.m. Post-show conversations will take place on April 23, May 2, and 3, 2023.