PD FY21 Public Works Dallas THE WINTER'S TALE Virtual Workshop - Dallas Theater Center
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Project Discovery VIrtual Workshop: Public Works Dallas THE WINTER'S TALE

ABOUT THE PLAY

Adaptation, Music & New Lyrics by Todd Almond || Conceived by Lear deBessonet || Based on the play by William Shakespeare

The story is told by Antigonus (Liz Mikel), and it all starts in the Kingdom of Sicilia, where King Leontes (J.D.Mollison) suspects of treachery from his wife Queen Hermione (Tiana K. Blair) with his friend King Polixenes of Bohemia (Ivan Jasso). When the Queen reaches her ninth month of pregnancy of a baby that Leontes suspects it’s Polixenes, King Leontes plots to kill Polixenes but he manages to escape. He then accuses Hermione of adultery and asks the Oracle of Delphi for proof. The Oracle declares Hermione’s innocence but he refuses to believe. Antigonus’ wife, Paulina (Sally N. Vahle) communicates to the monarchs that their older son, Mamillious (Alan Ramirez) has died of grief. The Queen collapses and Paulina takes her to sanctuary. Paulina comes back to King Leontes to announce the sudden death of Queen Hermione, which leaves King Leontes with a terrible heartache. He concedes to not sacrifice the baby, but he orders Antigonus to take her far away to die.

The newborn princess, who we come to know as Perdita (Ivey Barr) is left by Antigonus at the shore of Bohemia where he is eaten by a bear. A shepherd (Terry Thompkins) finds the baby princess and raises her as a shepherdess. She seems to be falling for a Bohemian boy named Florizel (Jeff Pope), whom she doesn’t know is the prince of Bohemia. King Ploixenes, who discovers them at a sheep-shearing festival, would not approve this match, so the couple elopes to Sicilia.

ABOUT THE CREATORS

Lear deBessonet became artistic director of Encores! in 2020. Previously, she served as resident director of Encores! under Jack Viertel. From 2012-2020, she worked at The Public Theater, where she founded the acclaimed Public Works program and served as resident director. At The Public, she directed Disney’s Hercules, Miss You Like Hell, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and the Public Works’ productions of The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, and The Odyssey at the Delacorte. Other directing credits include Good Person of Szechwan starring Taylor Mac and Lisa Kron (The Foundry Theater/The Public), Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus (Signature Theatre), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Encores! Off-Center) and Big River (Encores!). Her directing work has received an Obie Award, Lortel Award, Lilly Award, and multiple Drama Desk nominations.

Todd Almond is a writer/performer. His theatrical credits include original music for Sarah Ruhl’s STAGE KISS at Playwrights Horizons; original music and lyrics for the Public Theater/Public Works’ THE TEMPEST at the Delacorte, created with and directed by Lear DeBessonet, in which Todd also starred as Ariel; original book for GIRLFRIEND (music and lyrics by Matthew Sweet, from his album of the same name) at Actors Theater and Berkeley Rep; original score for MELANCHOLY PLAY: A NEW CHAMBER MUSICAL (book and lyrics by Sarah Ruhl) for 13P; Original music and lyrics for ON THE LEVEE (with playwright Marcus Gardley) at LCT3; original music and lyrics for Yale Rep’s WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (with book and co-lyrics by playwright Adam Bock); and original music and lyrics for THE ODYSSEY at the Old Globe in San Diego, created with and directed by Lear DeBessonet. In the 2014-15 season, Almond will be produced by The Public Theatre with Public Works’ THE WINTER’S TALE at the Delacorte, an original musical adaptation created with and directed by Lear DeBessonet; and by Playwrights Horizons with IOWA, an original musical play with playwright Jenny Schwartz and director Ken Rus Schmoll. Todd both produced and served as musical director for Sherie Rene Scott’s album “All Will Be Well” as well as the show on which the album was based, PIECE OF MEAT. Almond also music-directs for Broadway’s Laura Benanti and can be heard on her live album “In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention.”

His first album, “Mexico City,” produced by John Curley, is available on iTunes and his second album, also produced by Curley, “Memorial Day,” will be released on June 2nd.

Kent Gash, Director, is the founding Director of NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway, where he has directed THE WILD PARTY (Wolfe/LaChiusa), THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, NINE, SWEENEY TODD, WILL POWER’S THE SEVEN, ASSASSINS and THE WHO’S TOMMY and will direct THE AMERICAN CLOCK.  With Broadway veteran Walter Marks, Mr. Gash is co-author and director of the new musical, LANGSTON IN HARLEM, whose off-off Broadway production won Four 2010 Audelco Awards including Best Musical.   New York productions include BROKE-OLOGY at the Julliard School, the critically acclaimed Off Broadway premiere of MISS EVER’S BOYS for the Melting Pot Theatre Co., the World premiere musical CALL THE CHILDREN HOME for Primary Stages, the York Theatre concert presentation of Duke Ellington’s BEGGAR’S HOLIDAY and the Off-Broadway revival of Samm-Art William’s HOME.  Mr. Gash has directed multiple readings for the Emerging Writers series at the Public Theatre; including the hip-hop/spoken word-verse drama SOUND IS VIBRATION, THE BALL PLAYER. Mr. Gash is a graduate of the Carnegie-Mellon University School of Drama with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and the University of California at Los Angeles’ School of Theatre, Film and Television with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Directing for Theatre and Television.

ABOUT THE PLAY

Adaptation, Music & New Lyrics by Todd Almond || Conceived by Lear deBessonet || Based on the play by William Shakespeare

The story is told by Antigonus (Liz Mikel), and it all starts in the Kingdom of Sicilia, where King Leontes (J.D.Mollison) suspects of treachery from his wife Queen Hermione (Tiana K. Blair) with his friend King Polixenes of Bohemia (Ivan Jasso). When the Queen reaches her ninth month of pregnancy of a baby that Leontes suspects it’s Polixenes, King Leontes plots to kill Polixenes but he manages to escape. He then accuses Hermione of adultery and asks the Oracle of Delphi for proof. The Oracle declares Hermione’s innocence but he refuses to believe. Antigonus’ wife, Paulina (Sally N. Vahle) communicates to the monarchs that their older son, Mamillious (Alan Ramirez) has died of grief. The Queen collapses and Paulina takes her to sanctuary. Paulina comes back to King Leontes to announce the sudden death of Queen Hermione, which leaves King Leontes with a terrible heartache. He concedes to not sacrifice the baby, but he orders Antigonus to take her far away to die.

The newborn princess, who we come to know as Perdita (Ivey Barr) is left by Antigonus at the shore of Bohemia where he is eaten by a bear. A shepherd (Terry Thompkins) finds the baby princess and raises her as a shepherdess. She seems to be falling for a Bohemian boy named Florizel (Jeff Pope), whom she doesn’t know is the prince of Bohemia. King Ploixenes, who discovers them at a sheep-shearing festival, would not approve this match, so the couple elopes to Sicilia.

ABOUT THE CREATORS

Lear deBessonet became artistic director of Encores! in 2020. Previously, she served as resident director of Encores! under Jack Viertel. From 2012-2020, she worked at The Public Theater, where she founded the acclaimed Public Works program and served as resident director. At The Public, she directed Disney’s Hercules, Miss You Like Hell, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, and the Public Works’ productions of The Tempest, The Winter’s Tale, and The Odyssey at the Delacorte. Other directing credits include Good Person of Szechwan starring Taylor Mac and Lisa Kron (The Foundry Theater/The Public), Suzan-Lori Parks’s Venus (Signature Theatre), Pump Boys and Dinettes (Encores! Off-Center) and Big River (Encores!). Her directing work has received an Obie Award, Lortel Award, Lilly Award, and multiple Drama Desk nominations.

Todd Almond is a writer/performer. His theatrical credits include original music for Sarah Ruhl’s STAGE KISS at Playwrights Horizons; original music and lyrics for the Public Theater/Public Works’ THE TEMPEST at the Delacorte, created with and directed by Lear DeBessonet, in which Todd also starred as Ariel; original book for GIRLFRIEND (music and lyrics by Matthew Sweet, from his album of the same name) at Actors Theater and Berkeley Rep; original score for MELANCHOLY PLAY: A NEW CHAMBER MUSICAL (book and lyrics by Sarah Ruhl) for 13P; Original music and lyrics for ON THE LEVEE (with playwright Marcus Gardley) at LCT3; original music and lyrics for Yale Rep’s WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (with book and co-lyrics by playwright Adam Bock); and original music and lyrics for THE ODYSSEY at the Old Globe in San Diego, created with and directed by Lear DeBessonet. In the 2014-15 season, Almond will be produced by The Public Theatre with Public Works’ THE WINTER’S TALE at the Delacorte, an original musical adaptation created with and directed by Lear DeBessonet; and by Playwrights Horizons with IOWA, an original musical play with playwright Jenny Schwartz and director Ken Rus Schmoll. Todd both produced and served as musical director for Sherie Rene Scott’s album “All Will Be Well” as well as the show on which the album was based, PIECE OF MEAT. Almond also music-directs for Broadway’s Laura Benanti and can be heard on her live album “In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention.”

His first album, “Mexico City,” produced by John Curley, is available on iTunes and his second album, also produced by Curley, “Memorial Day,” will be released on June 2nd.

Kent Gash, Director, is the founding Director of NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway, where he has directed THE WILD PARTY (Wolfe/LaChiusa), THE MYSTERY OF EDWIN DROOD, NINE, SWEENEY TODD, WILL POWER’S THE SEVEN, ASSASSINS and THE WHO’S TOMMY and will direct THE AMERICAN CLOCK.  With Broadway veteran Walter Marks, Mr. Gash is co-author and director of the new musical, LANGSTON IN HARLEM, whose off-off Broadway production won Four 2010 Audelco Awards including Best Musical.   New York productions include BROKE-OLOGY at the Julliard School, the critically acclaimed Off Broadway premiere of MISS EVER’S BOYS for the Melting Pot Theatre Co., the World premiere musical CALL THE CHILDREN HOME for Primary Stages, the York Theatre concert presentation of Duke Ellington’s BEGGAR’S HOLIDAY and the Off-Broadway revival of Samm-Art William’s HOME.  Mr. Gash has directed multiple readings for the Emerging Writers series at the Public Theatre; including the hip-hop/spoken word-verse drama SOUND IS VIBRATION, THE BALL PLAYER. Mr. Gash is a graduate of the Carnegie-Mellon University School of Drama with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and the University of California at Los Angeles’ School of Theatre, Film and Television with a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Directing for Theatre and Television.