THE WINTER'S TALE
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Graham Abbey
Featuring Brent Carver, Mark Crawford, Charlie Gallant, Patrick Galligan, Michelle Giroux, Roy Lewis, Tom McCamus, Sarena Parmar, Lucy Peacock, Robert Persichini
Set and Lighting Design by Steve Lucas
Costume Design by Michael Gianfrancesco
Live Original Music by George Meanwell
Produced by Anna Kajtar for Groundling Theatre
Groundling Theatre Company’s inaugural production, a full staging of William Shakespeare's THE WINTER’S TALE, will be presented as part of the Coal Mine Theatre’s second season of adventurous theatre. One of the most psychologically engaging romances in the English language, this intimate chamber production of THE WINTER’S TALE will be directed by Graham Abbey, founder and artistic director of Groundling Theatre Company.
Written near the end of his career, and considered to be one of Shakespeare's greatest masterpieces, The Winter's Tale chronicles the descent of Leontes, King of Sicilia into a world of jealousy, murder and conspiracy when he falsely accuses his queen Hermione (Michelle Giroux) of an infidelity with his oldest friend Polixenes (Patrick Galligan). Upon receiving news that his wife and young son have died under the strain of public humiliation, and believing his newborn daughter to be not his own, the vengeful King orders the child to be abandoned on the remote shores of Bohemia. When divine intervention plants the seeds of forgiveness and rebirth, the possibility of faith is reawakened.
“I've had a lot of loss in my life in recent years, and I've found great solace and understanding coming from the late romances of Shakespeare. It's a place where issues of loss and redemption can be worked out and the possibility of rebirth and forgiveness is actually something you can reach out and touch. THE WINTER'S TALE begins happily, then rapidly descends into darkness until the moment when a child‟s life is spared. Then we start the slow, steady journey back into the light once again.” Graham Abbey in The Toronto Star, November 2015
Featuring a compact cast of ten actors, most with Stratford Festival pedigree, THE WINTER’S TALE stars Tom McCamus as Leontes, Brent Carver as Autolycus, Mark Crawford as the Clown, Charlie Gallant as Florizel, Patrick Galligan as Polixenes, Michelle Giroux as Hermione, Roy Lewis as Camillo, Sarena Parmar as Perdita, Lucy Peacock as Paulina, and Robert Persichini as Old Shepherd, with set and lighting design by Steve Lucas, costume design by Michael Gianfrancesco and live original music by George Meanwell.
The Groundling Theatre Company was launched in 2012 by Dora Award-winner Graham Abbey (Sixteen seasons with Stratford Shakespeare Festival; The Border on CBC TV and Remedy on Global Television; Afghanada on CBC Radio; feature films Take This Waltz directed by Sarah Polley, Defendor with Woody Harrelson, and the upcoming Milton‟s Secret with Donald Sutherland) to produce imaginative, original and accessible productions of Shakespeare’s plays, as well as works inspired by Shakespeare, to educate and inspire a new generation of audiences and artists. While presenting Shakespeare out of its traditional context and during the Bard’s traditional off-season, Groundling Theatre can re-examine and re-interpret the canon for new personal and political revelations still to be found in their timeless themes.
Toronto Star | "They are as proud of peacocks of each other"
The Slotkin Letter | "A vibrant, thoughtful, beautifully acted and directed production of this always interesting play"
Now Toronto | "Expert performances and direction combine with an intimate venue to make The Winter‟s Tale a knockout"
Torontoist | "A Hot Winter‟s Tale on the Danforth"
Digital Journal | "T.O. gets up close and personal with top acting talent in 'Tale'‟
Toronto Star | "This indie Winter‟s Tale is well told"
The Globe and Mail | "Call it Stratford-upon-the-Danforth"
Toronto Star | "Shakespeare from the ground up"
NOW Toronto | "We Love Lucy Peacock"
Toronto Star | "Three takes on The Winter's Tale"