Students looking for a good show to see during this upcoming family weekend can look no further than Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale,” which opens today at the Boll Theatre in Kennedy Union.
“This Shakespeare play begins with the darkest tragedy and ends in lighthearted romance, where blinding jealousy gives way to forgiveness in a magical conclusion … not to mention the bear, who is portrayed by members of our very own distinguished faculty,” the department of theatre said.
Directed by Linda Dunlevy, a professor in the theatre program, “The Winter’s Tale” starts at 8 p.m. for weekday and Saturday performances while Sunday performances start at 7 p.m. With more than five years since a Shakespeare production was last done by the theatre program the last Shakespearean production at the University of Dayton, this year’s play is truly an event.
Darrell Anderson, the director of the theatre program, said Dunlevy was enthusiastic about “The Winter’s Tale.”
“We try to do Shakespeare every few years, but haven’t done a Shakespeare production in at least five years,” Anderson said. “Considered a tragicomedy, “The Winter’s Tale” is one of Shakespeare’s problem plays.”
With a large cast of over 20 members, “The Winters Tale” is a little different than some of the productions that the theatre department has put on in the past few years. According to cast member Becca Hale, a junior psychology major, the group has been rehearsing three to four hours a night for the past six weeks, something that has made the cast closer.
“Most of time, we get there a few minutes before practice starts,” Hale said. “We start at the beginning of the show and go straight through to the end. We do scenes over until we know what we’re doing.”
Hale has been a member of the theatre program since her freshman year.
The play also features one of Shakespeare’s most dramatic stage directions: ‘Exit pursued by a bear.’
“Faculty members have been invited to play the bear in the play,” Anderson said. “We have a different faculty person playing the bear on different nights.”
“The Winter’s Tale” is set apart from other productions that have been done in the past because of the uniqueness of the play itself. A diverse cast of characters deal with jealousy, love, broken friendships, mistaken identities and a talking statue.
One of Shakespeare’s many masterpieces, “The Winter’s Tale” presents an interesting mix of comedy, tragedy and romance, all woven together into an elaborate plot.
“The Winters Tale” is presented at Boll Theatre from the Oct. 19-27. For more information contact the theatre program at 937-229-3950.