Arts and Entertainment

Seattle Shakespeare Company to bring ‘Winter’s Tale’ to Ober Park

Brenda Joyner plays Perdita and Riley Neldam plays Florizel in “The Winter’s Tale.”  - Alan Alabastro Photo
Brenda Joyner plays Perdita and Riley Neldam plays Florizel in “The Winter’s Tale.”
— image credit: Alan Alabastro Photo

The Seattle Shakespeare Company will bring the Bard’s “The Winter’s Tale” to Ober Park on Saturday as part of a summer-long tour to venues all over King County.

The play — a work full of ro-mance, jealousy, redemption, music, poetry and magic — will start at 7 p.m. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own seating and picnic baskets to the show. It’s a free presentation of Vashon Park District, though donations for the performers are encouraged.

The play’s plot is framed by the tale of King Leontes, a man who seems to have everything. But the king accuses his wife of infidelity, and his rash choices plunge him and those he loves into a winter of despair and regret. Yet true love triumphs, and forgiveness heals deep wounds, as an exiled princess and a wise woman orchestrate one of the most touching reunions in all of Shakespeare.

Susan McCabe, the park district’s program director, said she was pleased the park district is able to offer the summertime performance.

“We’re very excited about having this professional company perform Shakespeare in our park,” said McCabe. “Yet, there’s a twinge of sadness that it’s not a Vashon-produced production, showcasing Vashon talent.”

For the past several years, a group called Vashon Shakespeare in the Park, founded by Islander Paul Shapiro, has brought Shakespeare and other classic works of theater to Ober Park. But this year, plans for a local production of “The Merchant of Venice” had to be shelved after Shapiro had difficulty casting the show — many of the best actors in town were involved in Drama Dock’s summer production of “The Pirates of Penzance.”

The Vashon troupe is expected to return to Ober Park in 2013, McCabe said, adding that in the meantime, she was confident Saturday night’s performance of “The Winter’s Tale” would be wonderful.

Seattle Shakespeare Company is the Puget Sound region’s only year-round professional, classical theater dedicated to producing the works of Shakespeare.


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