PD FY21 Public Works Dallas THE WINTER'S TALE Virtual Workshop - Themes and History - Dallas Theater Center
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2017 REGIONAL TONY AWARD®

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Project Discovery VIrtual Workshop: Public Works Dallas THE WINTER'S TALE

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English playwright, actor, and poet. He was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. He was baptized on April 26, 1564, but historians cannot place the exact date of his birth. He died April 23, 1616, having returned to the small market town of his birth.

William Shakespeare wrote approximately 40 plays and over 150 sonnets. Shakespeare’s plays were being performed in London by 1592. The genres of his plays include history, drama, comedy, and tragedy. His first recorded works, Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI were written in the trending style of historical drama. Many of Shakespeare’s histories dramatize the results of weak or corrupt monarchical rule. Comedies include works such as Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, while Shakespeare’s tragedies include Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello, among others. Scholars who have studied Shakespeare concluded that some of his works show evidence that he drew inspiration from other contemporary Elizabethan playwrights. After Shakespeare’s death, two of his friends from the King’s Men, Henry Condell and John Heminges, gathered a collection of thirty-six of Shakespeare’s plays and published them in what became the First Folio. Eighteen of the works had been printed for the first time, and the action of Shakespeare’s friends likely saved some of his iconic plays from obscurity after his death.

Activity: What other Shakespearean shows have been produced at  Dallas Theater Center? How are they similar to or different from The Winter’s Tale?

 

About The Winter’s Tale

♦ Written around 1609-1611.
♦ First recorded performance occurred at The Globe on May 15, 1611.
♦ Later it was performed before King James I at Whitehall.
♦ Printed at the end of the Comedies section in Shakespeare’s First Folio in 1623.
♦ Shakespeare was inspired by Robert Greene’s popular novella Pandosto: The Triumph of Time, first published in 1588.
The Winter’s Tale is believed to be Othello with a happier ending, because both stories focus on how jealousy destroys marriage.
♦ Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is one of his later plays sometimes referred to as a Romance or “Problem Play”.  “Problem Plays” have tragic elements, but utilize the main plot lines of a Shakespearean Comedy.

Common Elements in Shakespeare’s Comedies

• Disguise, Mistaken Identity or Misconceptions
• Reason versus Emotion
• Comedy through language
• Clowns, jesters and  narrators
• Complex Plot Line
• Fantasy settings
• Separation and Reconciliation
• Happy Endings
• Problem / Romance Play

 

Activity: Try to find and write down as many comedic lines/jokes that you hear in the play! Make a game out of it with friends and classmates. 

 

Themes 

 

Activity: As you watch the show, find different moments that reflect the themes above.  

Shakespeare

William Shakespeare was an English playwright, actor, and poet. He was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. He was baptized on April 26, 1564, but historians cannot place the exact date of his birth. He died April 23, 1616, having returned to the small market town of his birth.

William Shakespeare wrote approximately 40 plays and over 150 sonnets. Shakespeare’s plays were being performed in London by 1592. The genres of his plays include history, drama, comedy, and tragedy. His first recorded works, Richard III and the three parts of Henry VI were written in the trending style of historical drama. Many of Shakespeare’s histories dramatize the results of weak or corrupt monarchical rule. Comedies include works such as Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It, and Twelfth Night, while Shakespeare’s tragedies include Macbeth, King Lear, and Othello, among others. Scholars who have studied Shakespeare concluded that some of his works show evidence that he drew inspiration from other contemporary Elizabethan playwrights. After Shakespeare’s death, two of his friends from the King’s Men, Henry Condell and John Heminges, gathered a collection of thirty-six of Shakespeare’s plays and published them in what became the First Folio. Eighteen of the works had been printed for the first time, and the action of Shakespeare’s friends likely saved some of his iconic plays from obscurity after his death.

Activity: What other Shakespearean shows have been produced at  Dallas Theater Center? How are they similar to or different from The Winter’s Tale?

 

About The Winter’s Tale

♦ Written around 1609-1611.
♦ First recorded performance occurred at The Globe on May 15, 1611.
♦ Later it was performed before King James I at Whitehall.
♦ Printed at the end of the Comedies section in Shakespeare’s First Folio in 1623.
♦ Shakespeare was inspired by Robert Greene’s popular novella Pandosto: The Triumph of Time, first published in 1588.
The Winter’s Tale is believed to be Othello with a happier ending, because both stories focus on how jealousy destroys marriage.
♦ Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is one of his later plays sometimes referred to as a Romance or “Problem Play”.  “Problem Plays” have tragic elements, but utilize the main plot lines of a Shakespearean Comedy.

Common Elements in Shakespeare’s Comedies

• Disguise, Mistaken Identity or Misconceptions
• Reason versus Emotion
• Comedy through language
• Clowns, jesters and  narrators
• Complex Plot Line
• Fantasy settings
• Separation and Reconciliation
• Happy Endings
• Problem / Romance Play

 

Activity: Try to find and write down as many comedic lines/jokes that you hear in the play! Make a game out of it with friends and classmates. 

 

Themes 

 

Activity: As you watch the show, find different moments that reflect the themes above.