Music and Performance with Patrick Livingston

by Rick Curtiss, Dramaturg

The_Winter's_TaleI had the pleasure of interviewing Patrick Livingston for today’s blog. He helped create the music and plays Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale. His double duty roles give fascinating insight into the creation of the show. After tonight’s (Thursday April 2nd) performance Patrick and the entire cast will be available for a post show discussion where you can be the interviewer and ask your questions about the show. Continue reading

Insights from Costume Designer Mary Farahnakian

by Rick Curtiss, dramaturg

The_Winter's_TaleAt a recent post show discussion for The Winter’s Tale (held every Thursday night after the show), one of the first questions from the audience was about the amazing costumes. I’m happy to report that I had the pleasure of interviewing costume designer Mary Farahnakian right before the show opened, and am excited to share her insights with you. The costumes in the show are inspiring in both their attention to detail and dedication to the themes of the show. Continue reading

The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal Part 2

by Rick Curtiss, dramaturg

The fighting continues…(to read more about what is “The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal”, check out Part 1 of this post here).

perditaPerdita
played by: Mckenzie Steele Foster

Intro: Desperate to find the origins of her past, Perdita enters the tournament knowing the odds are stacked against her.
Ending: Saved by a mysterious stranger, Perdita defeats Darkpocolypse , but did she find love in the process?

Style: Even at 15, Perdita has mastered the Bohemian Mystic arts, and her speed allows her to close the gap on unsuspecting foes.
Regal Blast – A shot that can be charged to it’s full potential. It is said that only Royal bloodlines can use it
Clandestine Blast – Sneak in a clandestine shot while remaining hidden
Shepard’s Flame – Fly into the air to get a better look at the sheep, or escape enemies
Nature’s Gaurd – Summon the spirit of the earth to protect you
Super Move: Wither o’ Wither – Summon a mothers love to blast enemies Continue reading

The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal Part 1

By Rick Curtiss, dramaturg

(Warning: The following blog post contains extreme video game references. Viewer discretion is advised.)

The Winter’s Tale is a divided piece. One half is a court room drama. One half is a really good episode of Saved by the BellThis duality can make The Winter’s Tale hard to approach.

Lucky for us, Shakespeare provided some clues that help tie the two sides together. He calls these clues–

The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal!

The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal is a collection of small character based stories that happen between acts. Unlike a traditional narratives The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal consists of “what if” scenarios set during a contrived fighting tournament.

The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal is often overlooked because of its difficulty to obtain. It was broken into pieces and scattered to eight locations: a meadow, desert, jungle cave, underwater, ice, lava, and castle in the clouds.

I interviewed the cast members of The Winters Tale in order to fill in the missing pieces, and using 3D modeling technology, I was able to recreate how The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal was performed in Shakespeare’s time!

Enjoy!

Part 1

The Winter’s Tale: Battle Royal
By William Shakespeare

Intro: Years after a terrible betrayal, King Polixines of Bohemia, and King Leontes of Sicilia decided that things must be settled once and for all. Rather than risk thousands of lives in war, they decided to hold a battle royal tournament to determine who is the ultimate champion.

Characters

leontesLeontes
Played by: James Luciano

Intro: King of Sicilia, Leontes hopes to win the tournament and finally find peace for his troubled mind. Continue reading

Exeunt, Pursued by a Bear

by Rick Curtiss, dramaturg

The most quoted line in The Winter’s Tale is never spoken. It’s Shakespeare’s famous stage direction,

Exeunt, pursued by a bear

Where a character, after performing a grizzly task, is chased off the stage. It is a moment that demands pause. A bear chases him off the stage? There isn’t a hint or prophecy or warning of “bears in these parts,” and within five words a bear appears and disappears.

Why the bear didn’t just eat the baby is beyond me.

Did I mention there is a baby in the scene?

It’s all too reminiscent of an oft repeated family legend,

Please bear with me–

In the early nineteen fifties a bear cub was found and killed outside a logging camp in the northwest corner of Montana. A few days later, Jaunita Curtiss was doing chores at the camp and her daughter Ida, not quite two, was playing outside. When Juanita turned to check on Ida, instead of a baby she saw a sow bear lumbering back into the woods on three legs.

Exeunt, bear holding the baby

Within five words a bear appeared and disappeared. Continue reading

The Winter’s Toil

By Rick Curtiss, dramaturg

Supermodel–

is the name of a 1993 RuPual dance anthem. You might know it better as Cover Girl, or its parenthetical title: You Better Work; and work it does. Out of the 213 words in Supermodel 17 of them are work, seven percent, almost every other line.

I like the sentiment.

It takes the fantasy world of supermodels: champagne, caviar, vapidity; and grounds it with the idea that fundamentally, it’s work,

Turn to the left

A supermodel didn’t wake up one morning with a Cartier watch and a penchant for tartlets. They knocked doors, they starved bodies, they waded and sometimes drowned in the unsavory. Genetics played it’s part, but if you want to become the best and stay they best, it’s work,

Now turn to the right

(and maybe a tiny bit of botulism)

At the end of November the cast of The Winter’s Tale had a first read through. In all of theater, nothing highlights the non-glamorous drudgery of work like a first read through. It’s a rough draft written in the dark. It’s the worst the show is ever going to be.

It’s essential. Continue reading