From the 2014-2015 Season:
Pericles, Prince of Tyre
Playing September 13, 2014 to October 05, 2014
A Suzi Bass Awards Recommended Show!
A dark and troubling riddle starts the heroic adventure of one man’s lifetime, a story of love gained, lost and gained again. Shakespeare woos us with his most epic theatrical journey, just under two hours! Join us as we follow the noble Pericles over continents and decades, goddesses and pirates, jousts and tempests. Featuring Award-winning American Story Teller Andy Offutt Irwin as Gower, the Chorus.
A part of The Shakespeare Evolution Series!
Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday September 21 after the show!
Read the Plot Synopsis
Synopsis for Pericles, Prince of Tyre
John Gower, the mediaeval poet, acts as Chorus throughout. His Confessio Amantis (1385-93), in which he retells the story of Apollonius of Tyre, was one of Shakespeare’s main sources.
Pericles solves the riddle propounded by Antiochus, King of Antioch, to his daughter’s suitors. The answer, which no one has found (death is the penalty of failure), is that father and daughter have had an incestuous relationship. When Pericles shows that he knows the meaning and Antiochus is suspiciously hospitable, the young Prince realizes that he must escape; back in Tyre he leaves Helicanus to govern in his absence and sets off for Tarsus where he relieves the famine-stricken city.
Still pursued by a minion of Antiochus, he puts again to sea, only to be wrecked on the shores of Pentapolis; there the King is celebrating with a tournament the birthday of his daughter Thaisa. Pericles wins, and he and Thaisa are betrothed. They expect ultimately to go to Tyre (where Pericles will now be safe), but in the great sea-storm Thaisa, after giving birth to a daughter, Marina, is thought to be dead and is thrown overboard in a waterproof chest, with a letter. When it comes to land in Ephesus the noble Cerimon revives Thaisa who, believing herself to be the only survivor, becomes a priestess of Diana’s temple. Pericles, meantime, returns to Tyre, entrusting the infant Marina to the care of Cleon, Governor of Tarsus and his wife Dionyza.
Some 14 years pass. Pericles is in Tyre; Marina has grown up in Tarsus. Dionyza, jealous of a girl who overshadows her own daughter, is about to have her murdered when pirates kidnap Marina and take her to a brothel in Mytilene. When Dionyza and Cleon tell Pericles his daughter is dead, he vows (says Gower) “Never to wash his face or cut his hairs.” In Mytilene Marina, whose purity bewilders her employers and startles the Governor, Lysimachus, manages to leave the brothel and work in an “honest house.” Pericles, in utter dejection, chances to visit the city; Lysimachus sends for Marina to comfort the stranger, and there, in his anchored ship, Pericles realizes that this is his daughter. In a dream Diana urges him to go to her temple at Ephesus, where presently he relates his tale to the priestess. She is Thaisa; and all griefs are over. Marina and Lysimachus (to whom she is now betrothed) will rule in Tyre, and Pericles and Thaisa spend the rest of their lives in Pentapolis.
-The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J C Trewin
Directed by Artistic Director Jeff Watkins
ACt One 60 min / Act Two 60 min
(Named roles only)
Young Pericles – Matt Felten
Old Pericles, Antiochus – Drew Reeves*
Gower – Andy Offutt Irwin
Marina– Hayley Platt
Thaisa – Mary Russell
Thaliard, Simonides, Leonine, – J. Tony Brown*
Helecanus, Bolt – Andrew Houchins*
Escanes– Chris Shulz
Dionyza, Virgin – Kati Grace Brown
Cleon– Troy Willis*
Cerimon, Pander – Nick Faircloth
Lychordia, Bawd – Mary Ruth Ralston
Lord, Gentleman, Pirate – Stephen Ruffin
Philemon, Lysimachus – Kevin Roost
Knight, Pirate, Sailor – Trey York
Antiochus’ Daughter, Diana – Miranda Wilson
Bardometer RatingHow difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?
These are plays you may have read in high school or college. The plot is fairly uncomplicated, though some of the themes may be dense or dark. These plays may include supernatural elements, straight-forward politics, historical content or religious content. (In these cases, we offer a synopsis with important historical or contextual explanations which you may read in the Playbill before the show.) In these plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations, and the language may be hard to follow for a first-timer.
We recommend this type of play to High School and College Students, casual theatre-goers, people who like mainstream films and reading “The Onion”, and Shakespeare lovers who enjoy delving into the Elizabethan world.
How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: You may wish to read the synopsis we provide (and maybe your notes from Literature Class). Or simply do a small amount of internet research. No worries – you won’t get lost.
Performances this Season
- The Winter’s TalePerformances begin March 07, 2015
- The Taming of the ShrewPerformances begin March 26, 2015
- Thornton Wilder’s Our TownPerformances begin April 10, 2015
- The Merchant of VenicePerformances begin May 01, 2015
- CoriolanusPerformances begin May 29, 2015