Buy Tickets From the 2014-2015 Season: The Winter’s Tale Playing March 07, 2015 to March 22, 2015

A Suzi Bass Awards Recommended Show!

Laura Cole, Jeff McKerley

“I have drunk and seen the spider.” As winter sets in, The Tavern is proud to bring this rarely produced play to our stage. Watch as a man’s unfounded jealousy loses him his wife, children and best friend. Yet, in this mellowest and least cynical of the mature Shakespearean masterpieces, love, Arcadian innocence and magic are triumphant in the end.

A part of The Shakespeare Evolution Series!

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday March 15 after the show! 

Read the Plot Synopsis

The Winter’s Tale

Leontes, King of Sicilia, grows so wildly and unreasonable jealous of Polixenes, King of Bohemia, for nine months a visitor at his court, that he believes his wife Hermione has been unfaithful and that her unborn child is not his own. Through Camillo, a Sicilian lord, he seeks to poison his guest, but Camillo warns Polixenes and they depart at once for Bohemia.

Leontes orders his wife to be imprisoned and their elder child Mamillius removed from her. In prison she gives birth to a daughter; when Paulina brings the babe to Leontes, hoping to soothe him, he commands her husband Antigonus to abandon the “bastard by Polixenes” in some desert place.

At the trial of Hermione a message from the Delphic oracle declares the Queen’s innocence; Leontes, refusing to credit it, hears immediately of the death of young Mamillius. Hermione faints and is carried out; presently Paulina tells Leontes that his Queen is dead and he vows life-long mourning. Antigonus, meantime, has left the babe on the Bohemian shore, with the name he gives her (Perdita) and gold in a bundle. Then he vanishes forever. A shepherd and his son find the child.

Sixteen years pass. In Bohemia Florizel, the King’s son, is in love with Perdita, brought up as a shepherdess. At a sheep-shearing feast a disguised Polixenes (with Camillo) reveals himself, threatening to disinherit his son and to put Perdita to death if they do not leave each other. Camillo advices them to go to Leontes in Sicilia, but he also tells Polixenes, hoping there may be a reconciliation.

All (including Shepherd and Clown, with their proofs of Perdita’s discovery) leave, variously, for Sicilia, where Leontes and Polixenes are reconciled; so is Polixenes to Florizel and Perdita. They go to Paulina’s chapel to see a remarkable “statue” of Hermione; kissing it, Leontes finds that, after the gulf of years, his wife – long cared for by Paulina – is still alive.

-The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare’s Plays by J C Trewin

Director's Notes

Directed by Artistic Director Jeffrey Watkins

Show Information


Act One 85 min / Act Two 55 min / Act Three 25 min

Show Roles

Leontes – Jeff McKerley*
Mamillus – Hayley Platt
Camillo - Doug Kaye*
Antigonus – Andrew Houchins*
Cleomines – Mary Ruth Ralston
Dion – Adam King
Hermione - Laura Cole
Perdita – Hayley Platt
Paulina - Heidi Cline McKerley
Emilia – Rivka Levin*
Polixenes – Troy Willis*
Florizell – Matt Felten
Old Shepherd – J. Tony Brown*
Clowne – Nicholas Faircloth
Paulina’s Stewards – Andrew Houchins*, Matt Nitchie
Paulina’s Lady – Rivka Levin*
Chorus - Doug Kaye*
Autolicus – Matt Nitchie
Archidamus – J. Tony Brown*
Officer – Matt Nitchie
Jailer – J. Tony Brown*
Mops – Anna Fontaine
Dorcus – Sarah Beth Mosley
Bear – Nicholas Faircloth
Mariner – J. Tony Brown
1st Gentleman - Paul Hester*

Show Times
Shows at the New American Shakespeare Tavern begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm

Bardometer Rating

How 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.

Additional Information