A jealous husband, a wife on trial for adultery, a charming con-man and an angry bear can all be found in Moncton’s Victoria Park this summer.
Hubcity Theatre is proud to present its 2013 Shakespeare in the Park with The Winter’s Tale playing at Moncton’s Victoria Park July 25, 26, 27 at 6:30 pm and a matinee show at 1:30 pm on July 28th.
“Many people see this as one of Shakespeare’s more challenging plays but I find it fascinating,” says Paul Power, Artistic Director for Hubcity Theatre. “It’s one of the lesser known plays – and not produced as often as other offerings – but I think it’s one Moncton audiences will really enjoy. It has everything – comedy, tragedy and romance.”
First performed in 1611, five years before Shakespeare’s death, The Winter’s Tale appears on the surface to be two plays. First comes the story of King Leontes of Sicilia, who becomes suspicious of an affair between his wife Hermione and childhood friend, King Polixenes of Bohemia. The second half, taking place mostly in Bohemia, chronicles the love affair between Perdita and Polixenes’ son, Florizel, 16 years later. While the first half is steeped in tragedy the second is seen by most as a romantic comedy – both lands come together at the end for a climactic conclusion.
The Winter’s Tale also includes one of Shakespeare’s most legendary and challenging stage directions, “Exit pursued by bear”.
“We thought we would have fun with this challenging direction and are proud to welcome Moncton local celebrities in the cameo role of ‘the bear’ each night,” says Power. “Our guests scheduled include Mandy and Ernie from the C103 Breakfast Club, City Councillor Dawn Arnold and Wild Willie from the Moncton Wildcats. We’re excited and think audiences will love this as well.”
Shakepeare in the Park 2013: The Winter’s Tale is a free performance for the community and Power says community is what his production is all about.
“We’re proud to offer this free performance each year to the Moncton community thanks to the generous support of the City of Moncton,” says Power. “The show really is a community event – because it’s free, anyone can come enjoy the performance. Our volunteer actors, musicians and stage crew have also been great. We really have a fantastic group of talented diverse artists this year and those doing cameo appearances have been so enthusiastic and supportive. Everyone’s dedication proves to me that Moncton’s arts community is alive and thriving and Hubcity Theatre is proud to be a community leader in that success.”