“This summer’s Winter’s Tale was co-directed by both Curriers – a first-ever experiment – and it perfectly reflected their differing directorial styles, with Lesley handling the somber Sicilian scenes with which the play begins and ends, and Robert taking over for the play’s raucous Bohemian middle.
‘Time’ - Shakespeare’s character who explains the play’s curious sixteen-year gap at the start of Act IV - was converted in this production to a thematic presence who, accompanying himself on the largest didgeridoo I have ever seen, interacts with the characters at various points throughout the play, and stands in for the ursine presence of Shakespeare’s famous stage direction, ‘exit, pursued by a bear.’
Rafael Untalan (with three Ashland seasons under his belt) was an intense and compelling Leontes in this altogether satisfying production, while Celia Madeoy was an extremely convincing Paulina and the young Kate Fox Marcom proved an especially appealing Perdita.”
– Robert Cohen
“The Marin Shakespeare Company conjures a unique production by making Time a central character….Cavanna puts his past three years of “pursuing interests in movement, sound, and the ritual of personal transformation” to good use in this production, opening the stage playing a six foot didgeridoo that he handles with precision. This ritualistic instrument is thought to achieve communication across long distances, which is certainly applicable in A Winter’s Tale considering the lost Perdita. Cavanna is onstage for most of the production, whether breathing life into the didgeridoo, keeping time with clapsticks or some other makeshift instrument, spinning clockwise, or seemingly convulsing to the action before him. At times he sits with upright posture in observance or in wait.
He is also the vessel through which Apollo speaks his unheeded oracle, and many times throughout the production we are reminded of Time’s omnipotence as he not only speeds time, but at times stops it altogether….He’s a unique expansion in this play, and almost never overkill (almost) on the convulsions that almost make sense. Cavanna also morphs into the famous stage direction of the bear that chases Antigonus offstage. This scene is dark and proves a frightening change from it’s more commonly comedic staging….
George Maguire and Drew Hirshfield take the comedic reigns in this production as the Shepherd and Young Shepherd, portraying the dimwitted yet loveable father/son duo with quick tongues. Maguire adds more to the already silly conversations by speaking with a mostly consistent twang in his voice and repeating the last word of his Hirshfield’s lines.
It’s tough to take your eyes off of Maguire’s antics and expressions even when he’s not the focal point of the scene. And speaking of scenes, Time intervenes in Maguire and Hirshfield’s discovery of the infant Perdita with two stuffed lambs in an hysterical nativity scene to remember….
Marcom is young, fresh-faced, and a stunning girl….
Bruce Lackovic’s simple set design changes from the cold and icy blue and white of Leontes’ kingdom, to garlands of flowers for the sheepsheering game, during which the male peasants toss fardels of freshly sheared wool around in a competition reminiscent of musical chairs. Mind you, there are no chairs involved. The scene is exhilarating and offers the feeling of what these peasants may have actually done during such springtime celebrations….
The most potent player on this stage is Celia Madeoy. Madeoy plays Paulina as a feisty and tough little scrapper who uses her sharp tongue well. “
– Denise Battista, playshakespeare.com