The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit presents Shakespeare's late romance about the scourge of jealousy and the power of forgiveness. More…
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.
“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
“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
"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
“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
"It's a lovely evening in the theater, if not quite Shakespeare's version of the play; I suspect Shakespeare would enjoy it...The Mobile Unit chooses to focus mostly on the fun...The rest of cast is also impressive, full of energy, acting talent, and beautiful singing voices...'The Winter's Tale' is smoothly directed by Lee Sunday Evans, with great imagination and humor. Catch it if you can--free Shakespeare, well-done, is a beautiful thing." Full Review
“Evans directs a straightforward, modern-dress production of ‘The Winter's Tale’, played by a fine ensemble...Cunningham makes a powerful presence as King Leontes of Sicilia...Comical breaks in the serious drama are supplied by Grant and Grollman, who play a pair of shepherds...Also adding a bit of lightness is having Leontes and Hermione's son, Mamillius, represented by a charming puppet.” Full Review
"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
“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
“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 '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
See it if you love actor driven storytelling. There's puppetry and great acting! Songs come from the actors. The staging is barebones.
Don't see it if You want to see a full set/light design.
See it if ...you love the play, you love how multi-cultural casting in a classic play can bring out latent meanings.
Don't see it if ...you cannot suspend your disbelief sufficiently to enter what is for a good deal of the piece a "fairy tale" world.
See it if You’re not a big fan of Shakespeare, this is a very accessible production. Simply staged but very clever and fun.
Don't see it if You’re a Shakespeare purist. This is done with very little formality. They keep the language but the action is all modern.
See it if you like updated and short versions of Shakespeare. You like unconventional modern day approaches to older plays.
Don't see it if you only like pure Shakespeare. You cannot accept somewhat different acting abilities.
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
See it if you can hop on this rare chance to see "A Winter's Play" and delight in seeing young people "own it."
Don't see it if you can't appreciate a bare-bones travelling production of one of Shakespeare's lesser plays
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
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
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.
See it if you aren't familiar with Shakespeare, there are still things to appreciate. The production is accessible and moves by quickly.
Don't see it if you'd prefer to see a production more closely resembling a traditionally staged Shakespeare play.
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)
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.
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.
See it if An intimate/immersive production, minimal props, modern costumes, great acting(esp. Christopher Ryan Grant), clever use of music/puppet
Don't see it if You prefer a full, traditional production.
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.
See it if You love the Mobile Shakespeare Unit and everything they do. Or you love The Winter's Tale.
Don't see it if You are used to the dynamic action of the MSU and will be disappointed at this version's super long winded monologues that feel stilted.
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.
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