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BC’s The Winter’s Tale Review

At the start of the play, the royal throne is shown to start out where the beginning of the play is set, in King Leontes’ Sicilian court. (Jorge Gutierrez)

The Winter’s Tale, one of the last plays Shakespeare performed in 1610 or 1611, is now being performed at the Shakespeare Festival. This rendition of the play is directed by Cody Granger at Bakersfield College. The play was aesthetically pleasing, from the set stage and props to the costumes and music score.

The costumes matched the characters well, as they developed throughout the play, their costumes and overall demeaner went along. In the beginning, King Leontes wore lavish attire fit for his royal tone, but once he started the drama of the play, especially when the regret was first shown, he was more disheveled and sleep deprived. Hermione, Leontes wife, at first was a confidently serene woman who clearly was baring a child, but after the accusation was made against her, and after she gave birth, she became miserable, and her stance was more arched inwards to show her dejection.

The emotion conveyed by other character like Paulina, when she was pleading for Leontes to look at the child and see that it is his own and not a product of adultery, was heartbreaking to witness.

The combination of the music and lights matching the mood brought a more atmospheric experience. For example, when Leontes’ jealousy came into play, the lights were dimmed, focused on the closeness Hermione and Polixenes and his internal thoughts he expressed. Purple scattered light was shown to also add to the visualization of jealousy that clouded Leontes mind.

The upper and lower floor of the stage set was used at times to have different sets of characters interacting with each other at the same time. In the section of the play where Leontes is about to accuse his wife of adultery, there’s him and his men discussing the accusation at the upper floor, and Hermione with her ladies-in-waiting listening to her son Mamillius tell them a story.

All in all, the execution of the play was tragically and dramatically beautiful, with the combination of visuals, sound, and emotions. This play was performed Oct. 4 and Oct. 6, and will continue to be performed Oct. 12 and Oct. 14. The Winters Tale, along with the other plays that are a part of the Shakespeare Festival, are performed at the Edward Simonsen Outdoor Theatre on the BC Main Campus.

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