Buy Tickets From the 2020-2021 Season: All’s Well That Ends Well Playing March 04, 2021 to March 28, 2021

Kati Grace Brown as Helena (Photo by Daniel Parvis)

There is nothing that Helena won’t do to rise above her station in life. The “lowly” daughter of a physician, she falls for the haughty Bertram, who has run away to wars just to avoid being with her. Yikes! By setting her up with seemingly impossible tasks to perform in order to bring him back, he thinks he’s safe from being her husband. What could possibly go wrong? Full of outrageous twists and tricks, this dark comedic tale is sure to surprise and entertain.



Filmed on The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse Stage January 2021
Available to watch March 4-28, 2021
Link expires one month after purchase

Content Advisory: This production includes candid conversations about sexuality and features implied offstage sexual encounters which violate consent boundaries.



Is All's Well That Ends Well appropriate for my child/student? Click here. Spoilers ahead.

Maybe! Please read the information below in order to make that decision for your family or classroom.

Supernatural Elements:  None

Adult Content Advisory: An implied sexual encounter between two married characters offstage. The sexual jokes will be physicalized in order to make Shakespeare's language clear and understandable to a modern audience. No additional language is added from Shakespeare's original text.

Violence Advisory:  Two characters comedically kidnap and gull a third character. Other small instances of slapstick, comedic violence.

Casting Advisory: Many actors in this production play multiple characters including female-identifying actors playing male characters and male-identifying actors playing female characters. Check out Director Chris Hecke's interview and Playbill notes for more info!

Language Advisory:   Hellish, hell-pains, damned, damn and damnable and sexually tinged dialogue between two sets of unmarried characters

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Read the Plot Synopsis

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

Helena, an orphan, loves Bertram, son of the dowager Countess of Rousillon, who has brought her up. When the haughty young man goes as a ward to the French King, Helena – whose father has been a celebrated physician – follows him, hoping that she may cure the King of a painful illness. She does so with one of her father’s remedies; and being offered her choice of husband from the gentlemen at court, chooses Bertram. Snobbishly, he objects –“A poor physician’s daughter my wife!” – but forced by the King, agrees to the match. Immediately afterwards he runs away to Florence as a volunteer in the Tuscan wars – the Florentines against the Sienese – with a cowardly braggart, Parolles, as his companion.

Back at Rousillon Helena learns that Bertram will take her as his wife when she has got from his finger a prized heirloom-ring and borne him a child. She goes, in pilgrim’s dress, the Florence, where Bertram is seeking to seduce a widow’s daughter, Diana. Helena persuades Diana to yield to him but to ask for his ring and to make an assignation which she, Helena, will keep.

Meanwhile, the follow-officers of Parolles trick him into exposing his cowardice. Diana, having got Bertram’s ring, duly arranges a midnight meeting with him; hidden by darkness, Helena takes Diana’s place and gives Bertram as a keepsake a ring she had received from the King of France. Hearing that Helena is dead, Bertram returns to Rousillon, where his mother and the old Lord, Lafeu, also believe the story. Lafeu arranges a match between his daughter and Bertram, who prepares to give to her the ring from Helena. The King recognizes it and orders Bertram’s arrest. Diana, newly arrived, accuses Bertram of seducing her; when he denies it, the King orders her to prison as well, but her mother, the widow, produces “bail”, Helena herself, who is to have Bertram’s child. “All yet seems well,” say the King comfortably, “and if it end so meet/The bitter past, more welcome is the sweet.”


Director's Notes

Directed by Chris Hecke

Bio

I hold an MFA in Acting from the University of Arkansas, another Masters degree and a Bachelor of Arts from North Greenville University. As an immigrant from Brazil, I am proud to make my directing debut in these uncertain and odd times. My experience began with first witnessing plays at the Teatro Municipal de São Paulo, all the way through to working with Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed in college, to Master courses in Suzuki, Meisner, Chekhov (Michael), & Viewpoints, amongst others at the U of A.


When it comes to Shakespeare specifically, my love affair dates back to 2008 and the Upstate Shakespeare Festival, held every year in Greenville, SC (the festival began in 1994). I have been fortunate enough to have worked on (mostly acted in) 22 plays of Shakespeare’s cannon, so far. Most recently, I played Edmund, the bastard, in King Lear at the Atlanta Shakespeare Company, Bernie in My Father’s War, (at award winning Theatre Squared), and many zoom plays & readings with Horizon Theatre, Soul-stice Theatre and others. Cheers to the Friends in the Big City - this was by you, and for you - I am eternally grateful.



Notes on All’s Well that Ends Well:

What if we stop trying to be right, and instead try to get it right?

I’ve asked myself this question many times this year.

I have to admit, All’s Well that Ends Well is not the kind of Shakespeare play that rolls around in my mind. When I was approached to direct it, I had to ask: Why now? Why this play? Doesn’t it seem odd that we wouldn’t try to do one of the plays that we know by rote? Why not Midsummer again, or Twelfth Night, or Comedy of Errors? So, I read the play. Then read it again, then read it with actors. While I couldn’t initially answer my own questions, something started to clarify for me: this felt new!


There was no way we were going to deprive ourselves of daring to do something new, particularly a play with a reputation as a “problem play” (though I prefer the term dark comedy, now). It was stepping into the rehearsal room on the first day, with 9 other actors (distanced, masked and all having tested negative) that we found answers. The magic and comedy of this play live in the insight Shakespeare gives us of characters living in the extremes. While our heroine takes her fate into her own hands after the death of her father, a Widow takes in travelers & pilgrims, in war-torn Florence. While the King of France is at death’s doorstep, a coward is willing to sell his own comrades to the enemy so long as he has his life. 2020, for so many of us, has been a year lived in the extremes.


That became our approach. What happens if we play near the extremes (of grief, joy, silliness, clowning)? What does it look like to challenge what we think, the way Helena challenges the King “What I can do, can do no hurt to try” (Act 1.2.)? In pursuit of this, we first chose to de-gender the characters. Not as a form of challenging gender identity in society, but as a way for us to approach the Spirit and Heart of the characters without our implicit biases.


I trust that The Spirit and Heart of this play, The Spirit and Heart of our ensemble, and the Spirit & Heart of the Bard bring you some joy and permission to live through the extremes.



Show Information

Duration

One hour and 46 minutes with no intermission

Show Roles

March 4-28, 2021 (Digital Production)


Helena - Kati Grace Brown
Bertram - Sean Kelley
King of France - Nick Faircloth
Countess/Mariana - Charlie Thomas
Parolles - O’Neil Delapenha
LaFeau - Destiny Freeman
Lord/ Clown/Widow - J.L. Reed
Duke of Florence/Gentleman Dumain - Mary Ruth Ralston
Diana/Gentleman Dumain - Patty de la Garza

Production Crew:
Film Production Company- Up the Hills
Lighting Designer- Sean Kelley
Fight Choreographer- Mary Ruth Ralston
Original Costumes created by Anné Carole Butler
Costume Coordination by Kati Grace Brown and Laura Cole
Music by Atlanta Shakespeare Company Resident Composer Bo Gaiason

Show Times
Shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse 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.
6
 
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 plays, there may also be bawdy language and certain adult situations. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show.

Note for all plays: The performers of The Atlanta Shakespeare Company are specially trained to make Shakespeare’s text and intention clear, no matter the plot or the subject matter. They know precisely how to get to the emotional core of each line, each moment, each scene. We promise you will understand everything! Leave the heavy lifting to us!

Additional Information