Guest director Kathleen F. Conlin (Associate Artistic Director for Utah Shakespearean Company) is leading Theatre South Carolina’s first-rate production of one of Shakespeare’s last works, The Winter's Tale, which magically blends tragedy and comedy into a story about the redemptive power of love. The uncontrollable jealousy of King Leontes of Sicilia brings his family to ruin and severs the alliance between two powerful monarchs. Only the love of a daughter believed to be lost forever can heal the rift and bring about the king’s absolution.
Conlin describes the play as “a phenomenal story about relationships and what true fidelity is. It has that sense of what it means to define the word commitment beyond contemporary psychology, and asks, ‘What does it mean in terms of values?’”
In discussing her process to approaching a Shakespeare piece, Conlin says, “I try to look at every Shakespeare play as if it were a contemporary play, as if I am reading a new writer; and I notice what is happening in each scene and figure how all the scenes relate.” Design plays an important role as well, and Conlin says that she “finds a way into the play in terms of a design concept that allows creates a visual world that helps keep the show on target.”
Conlin brings a wealth of experience with Shakespeare productions, as she has been affiliated for over twenty years with the Utah Shakespearean Festival, one of the most highly regarded professional theatres in the US. “Utah Shakes” won the Tony for Outstanding Regional Theatre Company in 2000. Conlin is also a professor, holding the Barnard Hewitt Professorship at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is also Director in Residence.
Department Chair Jim Hunter says about Conlin's participation, "I was thrilled that Kathleen Conlin agreed to guest direct our production of The Winter's Tale. She is a person of high achievement in both higher education and professional theatre at the national level, and brings a wealth of experience to campus."
The talented cast of twenty-one features our best and brightest graduate and undergraduate actors, as well as several recognizable guest actors, including Bob Hungerford, Chuck Whetzel, and professional stage and television actor Donald Sage Mackay as King Leontes. Mackay may be a familiar face to fans of the television shows Scrubs, Providence and The Practice, among many others. You may also remember Mackay as Oppenheimer in the 2004 Theatre South Carolina production of Carson Kreitzer’s The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
All aspects of the show’s spectacular production are in keeping with Conlin’s notion that The Winter's Tale is “a tale,” a notion that allows for an imaginative, heightened design scheme that is in keeping with the fantastical nature of the story itself. With a towering 20-foot high, art-filled set by Professor Nic Ularu (Head of our Graduate Design track), an immersive soundscape from sound design professor Walter Clissen, the sumptuous costume designs of MFA costume student The Winter's Tale and the transformative lighting design of MFA Lighting student Marc Hurst, The Winter's Tale promises to take you on an incredible journey as soon as the curtain opens.
You don’t want to miss this imaginative and heartfelt Shakespeare classic, our final main stage production of the season.
Theatre South Carolina presents
The Winter's Tale
$16 General Public
$14 USC Faculty/Staff/Military
Box office: 777-2551
April 16: 8pm
April 17: 7pm and 11pm (1/2 price late night show)
April 21-23: 8pm
April 24: 7pm
April 25: 3pm