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Seattle Shakespeare Co. Presents THE WINTER'S TALE

It's a fantastical, fairytale-like story with lost princesses, sea journeys, rascally tricksters, and a magical moment that reconciles a family. Seattle Shakespeare Company will present The Winter's Tale at the Leo K. Theatre. Sheila Daniels directs Shakespeare's enchanting intergenerational saga September 7 through October 2.

"The Winter's Tale has been a story I've loved for a long time," said director Sheila Daniels at the first rehearsal for the play. "It's full of moments of grace to counter the rage. Forgiveness to counter the vengeance. And compassion to counter the cruelty. I love that love wins."

Daniels went on to explain to the assembled cast, designers, staff, and guests that you can see Shakespeare's progression as a philosopher, with The Winter's Tale being his second-to-last play written. And there are no real villains. "Shakespeare rather creates a man who is his own worst enemy and turns him against himself. There's no Iago here to turn Leontes or to twist Leontes. Leontes twists in on himself. Any of you here who have felt jealousy know that it's a horrible feeling. And that it's an infection, and it's referred to in this play as an infection. Leontes is a man trapped in a terrifying prison of himself. There's no one to blame. There is no villain. And even Leontes comes to redemption."

While working on the play, Daniels found that it was younger characters who were the drivers behind the shifting attitudes of the older characters. "It's the younger generation's refusal to accept that class or status should decide the fate of the human heart. Which enables the adults to love one another again, and to forgive each other," said Daniels. "I find this constantly as a teacher, that really my students are the people who give me hope. I believe in the future they believe in, because they are committed to change."

In The Winter's Tale, two generations struggle to overcome past wrongs and misjudgments. Obsessive King Leontes accuses his queen, Hermione, of having an affair and puts her on trial. Meanwhile their infant daughter gets spirited away to a distant shore. Sixteen years later, through fate and love, the young woman discovers her true heritage and reunites her family.

Seattle Shakespeare Company returns to the Leo K. Theatre for the second time with The Winter's Tale. It features a cast of 15 actors. Darragh Kennan plays King Leontes and Brenda Joyner plays his wife Hermione. Reginald Andre Jackson plays Polixines and Amy Thone portrays Paulina. Rudy Roushdi and Jasmine Jean Sim will play the young lovers Florizel and Perdita. The production will feature original music.

Tickets to The Winter's Tale are available now through the Seattle Shakespeare Company Box Office at 206-733-8222 as well as online at www.seattleshakespeare.org.



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