Ends Dec 17

The Winter's Tale (Mobile Shakespeare Unit)

Members say: Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Clever, Delightful
8 reviews
19 reviews

The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit presents Shakespeare's late romance about the scourge of jealousy and the power of forgiveness.

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Dire misunderstanding changes the course of destiny when King Leontes becomes convinced that his wife is pregnant with his friend’s child. The maligned wife perishes, the accused friend flees, and the cursed infant is left to die alone on the shore. But from the depths of tragedy, wondrous things can occur. What’s lost is found, false identities lead to true love, and the miracle of forgiveness brings new life to the world in one of Shakespeare’s most treasured romances.

As part of the Public Theater's Mobile unit, this production tours to community centers, prisons, and homeless shelters throughout New York’s boroughs, before ending its run at the Public.


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Reviews (27)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score


“Evans directs a tight ensemble of nine through the story of paranoia, distrust, and ultimate redemption...Scene transitions are smoothed over with lulling musical interludes...Evans follows up the play's first three acts of dour drama with refreshingly light comedic direction...Bargain basement meets refined Shakespeare, and it's that joyful combination that makes ‘The Winter's Tale’ not only something everyone can see, but something everyone should see.” Full Review

The New York Times

"This 'Winter’s Tale' works less well than some previous efforts. That is partly because of the play itself, a peculiar romance that asks you to suspend your disbelief...In Lee Sunday Evans’s bare-bones staging, there doesn’t seem to be enough time — or maybe enough directorial imagination — to register fully the abrupt changes in tone, from tragedy to farce to something more numinous." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

“Audiences…will have no problem appreciating this thoroughly enjoyable, excellently spoken revival, from which numerous characters…have been excised with little damage…While the play introduces several thoughtful themes, its several illogicalities, exaggerations, and far-fetched developments require a particular lightness of touch…All this is accomplished far more successfully in this production than many more elaborate, star-studded productions.” Full Review

The Huffington Post

"What’s always remarkable about the Mobil Unit’s result is how lively, how energetic it always is—and how often, how creative and how musical Shakespeare can be made. That’s to say excited commitment overrules any deficiencies in acting refinement or text shrinkage...Perhaps the best praise that can be accorded the Mobile Unit is: Each production—often presented before first-time Shakespeare audiences—wins over new Shakespeare fans." Full Review

Front Row Center

“An intelligently abridged interpretation...Evans has skillfully focused her adaptation on the essentials of the narrative to tell this rich story in a short time without sacrificing its complexity...The cast is consistently strong, both as an ensemble and individually...Modernizing a great play can sometimes fall flat but there is no danger of that here. Shakespeare’s work is relevant, and made all the more approachable in this excellent production.” Full Review


"When it comes to classical theater this holiday season, this 'Winter's Tale' may well be the best theater bargain in New York...Like all Mobile Unit productions, the most remarkable feature here is that it proves how little we need to put on a satisfying Shakespeare production...The outstanding performances of the entire cast make this 'Winter's Tale' something to brag about...Stripped of theatrical embellishments, the message of the play inevitably becomes clearer." Full Review

Stage Buddy

“Bare-bones and youthful production...Not Shakespeare’s best by any stretch but the Mobile Unit does a fine job of making it fresh and fun. They incorporate a couple of well-crafted puppets and some really good original music...The point of the Mobile Unit is to reach as much of underserved New York City as possible and make art and culture accessible to all. And with that lofty goal, they have succeeded.” Full Review


“This production, deftly directed by Evans, is a good introduction to theater in general, and Shakespeare in particular...In spite of the language, the action of the play is easy to follow and the performances are solid...The gravity and insanity of the first half of ‘The Winter’s Tale’ can seem out of balance with the levity of the second half. But then the ultimate renewal takes place in the form of a resurrection that makes all that can be made right again.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Delightful, Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare lite. The piece is deconstructed and reconstructed in a form that doesn't deviate from the tradition but enhances it

Don't see it if you are a strict Shakespearean

Absorbing, Entertaining, Well-played, It's shakespeare!

See it if you love The Public Theater's Mobile Unit style of accessible Shakespeare; fine acting & some creative quirks

Don't see it if you like your Shakespeare straight-up (or not at all)

Also Justin Cunningham as King Leontes & Stacey Yen as the Queen Hermione a... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you want to be entertained by a creative lightweight production

Don't see it if you prefer a more classic approach

Disappointing, Fluffy, Disinteresting

See it if U get the tix for free This theater company has done awesome productions, this one needs revision.

Don't see it if . The direction turns the great possibilities into boring dialogue delivery.The music & energetic moments helps to wake you up.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you love the essence of Shakespeare up close and personal. Almost bare stage. Shakespeare's characters and words are front and center.

Don't see it if you need costumes and long unabridged versions of the Bard. You have no imagination. Your first language isn't English.

Shakespeare stripped down -- high impact

See it if Another Mobile Unit winner. Talented cast and clever staging on a small space. Some nifty quick changes. Amazing bear!

Don't see it if Purists may be put off because the character of the vagabond Autolycus (and all business connected to him) has been removed. Didn't miss it

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A truly unique and creative Winter’s Tale.Bravo to an incredible addition to NYC’s cultural offerings!

Don't see it if Do not see if you dislike Shakespeare.

Charming, Well staged, Strong acting, Modest prodn values, Well trimmed

See it if you like clear, concise WS. Plot is easy to follow, tonal shift works better than usual. Surprisingly touching. Diverse cast! Fun! Free !

Don't see it if you hate having any WS cut. Or you need high prodn values. But you'd miss something special: a holiday gift from The Public to the public.

Also I'm a big fan of the mobile unit productions. The actors delivered WS'... Read more Read less

Funny, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You want a fun free night in the theater. Bring someone who doesn't normally see plays, it's short and accessible.

Don't see it if You're a Shakespeare connoisseur who's seen a bunch of great productions of the Winter's Tale.

Funny, Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Unique

See it if You like Shakespeare, modern twist, fast moving characters, multiple roles by one actor, fast paced, puppetry, intimate rooms

Don't see it if Hate Shakespeare, Old English, don’t like listening, impatient, original versions of plays and stories, don’t like small playhouses

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if You love Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You struggle with Shakespearean English.

Also Small intimate theatre - almost theatre in the round, with a very simp... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Hilarious

See it if You enjoy a quick Shakespeare play put on in sparse surroundings by highly energetic performers

Don't see it if You'd like a complete story with dynamic characters with believable arcs

Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if you like streamlined Shakespeare, to see actors in their element, and hey, it's free!

Don't see it if you need lots of costumes or scenery to pull you into a play

Absorbing, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want to see obscure and difficult Shakespeare presented simply, clearly and directly.

Don't see it if You want to see an elaborate production with fancy sets and lighting. Just the basics here.

Clever, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if You're a fan of Shakespeare and talented actors

Don't see it if You can't get into Shakespeare

Also This was a charming, refreshing take on The Winter's Tale. It was well... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy condensed shakespeare and like accessible theater

Don't see it if you prefer traditional shakespeare/theater

During previews
Energetic, Fluid staging, Trimmed, Plays up comedic elements, Works well

See it if stripped down "free" accessible Shakespeare, with talented cast, direction and intent is to your liking

Don't see it if you're a Shakespeare purist who demands all the frippery of traditional period stagings with more than 9 cast members

During previews
Pleasant, Minimalist, Free!

See it if Just go ahead. Tix are free and easy to get (for now). You can enjoy a fantastical story without any bells and whistles.

Don't see it if You have limited time and are deciding between this and something else. This show is well-performed but not really eye-opening.

Also This production’s not as strong as last season’s Mobile Twelfth Night ... Read more Read less

During previews
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting

See it if You want to see an entertaining take on a Shakespeare classic

Don't see it if You don't like Shakespeare or it bothers you when they take liberties with it.