Conceived and directed by Obie Award winner Lear deBessonet with musical adaptation by Todd Almond, Public Work’s The Winter’s Tale brings Shakespeare’s tale of mystery and magic to life as never before. Featuring Public Works’ signature blend of professional actors, community members, and special guests, this musical adaption will explode with authentic performances that come together to tell Shakespeare’s beloved fable of hard-won joy and the promise of renewal.
The “tale” of The Winter’s Tale unfolds in scenes set sixteen years apart. In the first part of the play, Leontes, king of Sicilia, plays host to his friend Polixenes, king of Bohemia. Suddenly, Leontes becomes unreasonably jealous of Polixenes and Leontes’s pregnant wife, Hermione. Leontes calls for Polixenes to be killed, but he escapes. Hermione, under arrest, gives birth to a daughter; Leontes orders the baby to be taken overseas and abandoned. The death of the couple’s young son, Mamillius, brings Leontes to his senses, too late. Word arrives that Hermione, too, has died. In Bohemia, a shepherd finds and adopts the baby girl, Perdita.
Sixteen years later, the story resumes. Polixenes’s son, Florizell, loves Perdita. When Polixenes forbids the unequal match, the couple flees to Sicilia, where the tale reaches its conclusion. Perdita’s identity as a princess is revealed, allowing her and Florizell to marry; Leontes and Polixenes reconcile; and Hermione returns in the form of a statue, steps down from its pedestal, and reunites with her family.
CITIZENS OF SICILY:
ANTIGONUS (M): Narrator. Paulina’s husband. Abandons Perdita on the Bohemian coast.
TRIO 3 (M/F): backup to ANTIGONUS when he’s singing.
CHILDREN’S CHOIR (M/F)
LEONTES (M): King of Sicily. Husband to HERMIONE. Friend to POLIXENES. Suspicious of his wife and best friend.
HERMIONE (F): Queen of Sicily. Wife to LEONTES. Warm and loving personality. Accused of having an affair with POLIXENES.
POLIXENES (M): King of Bohemia. Best friend to KING LEONTES. Friendly to the Queen.
MAMILLIUS (M): Son of HERMOINE and LEONTES. Dies after his mother is imprisoned for being wrongly accused of infidelity.
CAMILLO (M): Servant of King LEONTES. Ordered to kill POLIXENES.
PAULINA (F): Confidant to the Queen. ANTIGONUS’ wife. Bold, tough and witty.
ORACLE (M/F): Vindicates HERMOINE of all charges.
SHEPHERD (M): Finds and raises the baby of QUEEN HERMOINE (PERDITA). From Bohemia.
CLOWN (M): Son of the Shepherd. From Bohemia. Brother to PERDITA.
TIME (F): A young girl from Bohemia. (Ensemble)
PERDITA (F): 16 yr. old daughter of HERMOINE and KING LEONTES. Unaware of her royal bloodline. Raised by the SHEPHERD in Bohemia. In love with FLORIZEL.
AUTOLYCUS (M): A charming thief who aides PERDITA and FLORIZEL.
FLORIZEL (M): Prince of Bohemia. In love with PERDITA. Son of POLIXENS.
MOPSA (F): citizen of Bohemia (Ensemble)
DORCAS (M): citizen of Bohemia (Ensemble)
Optional Cameo Groups:
BALLET DANCERS (M/F)
Capoeira dancers OR Other Dancers
Festival of Performers
Piano-Conductor (Keyboard 1/Guitar1)
Guitar 2 (Electric, Acoustic)
Drums (Drum Set, Triangle, Mark Tree, Shakers, Gong, Tambourine, Military Snare)