Friday, Feb. 17, 2012

The Winter's Tale With First Stage

The Young Company presents Shakespeare’s WINTER’S TALE

By Russ Bickerstaff
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I distinctly seem to remember a certain local critic who used to write for the daily suggesting at one point that Shakespeare should only be done by trained Shakespearian actors. Utter rubbish. And people let him know it . . . theoretically, Shakespeare’s work, being a distillation of some of the more potent end of human emotion and interaction, should be able to be done by anyone . . . each staging providing a slightly different perception of what the script is trying to convey. The work stands on its own in kind of  universal way and the same words could be breathed through any actor for a variety of different moods in and within the same stories.

That being said, I was a bit confused when I heard that the First Stage Young Company would be staging The Winter’s Tale. It’s one of the bigger problems of Shakespeare’s problem plays . . . and though I absolutely loved a production of it staged by the late Milwaukee Shakespeare, it’s a challenge for any company to make sense of it. A group of kids learning to relate to Shakespeare through this one, WOULD be interesting, though . . . the dichotomy between gods and mortal—royalty and commoners would be a lot of fun for a young cast to interact with. I think it’s amazing that they’re working with a young cast on material like this . . . and it’s even more amazing that they actually stage these shows for audiences.

First Stage’s Young Company’s production of The Winter’s Tale runs March 9 – 11 at the Milwaukee youth Arts Center on 325 West Walnut Street. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. (And coming up May  4 -5, the Young Company is doing Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I can’t begin to express how cool I think that is.) 

 

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