From Director Marcella Kearns: THE WINTER'S TALE

11:58 AM

Fairy tales, folk tales, legends … so many old stories weave narratives about faithfulness and forgiveness. Often present are gendered notions. Held up on a pedestal in these tales are ancient cultural concepts that hold women’s faithfulness, patience, forbearance, and forgiveness as the most admirable and inherent qualities of that gender. Those virtues triumph over conflicts which also often center on perceived flaws in men, such as jealousy or an impulse towards conquest or power. Where is the triumph? In proving innocence and virtue to the mistaken. Unfortunately (therein lies the drama), that proof sometimes comes with great cost.

At first glance, this play is about a woman’s faithfulness in question and the inevitably devastating consequences of that questioning. It’s also about patience and forgiveness.

An old tale.

Director Marcella Kearns
I will admit these kinds of stories churn up a frustration within me not easily assuaged, but Shakespeare weaves this one beautifully. This play will require of all of us—artists and audience—a collision with our own biases and discomforts. We will confront how humans behave when authority manufactures its own narrative from nothing and deems it truth. We will witness how family may cut the deepest, how chosen family may help to heal, and how forgiveness must come not only from another but from self. We will be required, as Paulina says in the play, to awake our faith. To believe in miracle, the dissolution of seemingly impossible barriers before us and between us.

Patience, forbearance, belief. I wish to note that in this play I do not see these as qualities which belong to some of us, but living, vital exercises required of all of us. That thrills me.

Thank you for being in the room with us. For me, this winter’s tale is for all lost or estranged. May each find their way home.

THE WINTER'S TALE runs Dec. 6 
– 15 at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. 

Young Company Performance Projects are actor-driven presentations, using elemental production values. By stripping down to nearly bare stage, the connection of actor to audience is enhanced, and the words of the play come alive in exciting ways, allowing our award-winning students to showcase their graduate-level skills with full length material, from Shakespeare to American classics to pieces commissioned specially for them. 

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