“It is requir’d you do awake your faith”
Classic Chic Productions presents
The Winter’s Tale
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Lisa Wolpe
L.A. Women’s Shakespeare is about putting on honest, thoughtful productions of Shakespeare’s plays, without being limited by gender, and in the meantime, doing their part to even out the cosmic scales from all that time Shakespeare’s women were played by men. And the fact that the company has, at its center, what is simply one of the best Shakespearean actors of this generation is reason to anticipate, and delight in, every new production.
Sharon Perlmutter, critic for Talkin’ Broadway VANCOUVER, BC…The Winter’s Tale, opening July 26 and presented by Classic Chic Productions (CCP), promises fire and ice aplenty, at the direction of master interpreter of the Bard, Lisa Wolpe. The epic and romantic fairy tale features a large all-female ensemble on this inaugural production for Classic Chic, a newly formed Vancouver women’s theatre collective. “The Winter’s Tale offers beautifully defined, strong, classic roles for women in Hermione, Paulina, and Perdita,” says Wolpe, an acclaimed actor and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (LAWSC).
“This play features some of the greatest male characters ever written – the tyrant King Leontes, the seductive King Polixenes, the tortured Antigonus, the delightful villain with a deft sleight of hand and a song-and-dance, Autolycus. Classic Chic is opening up fascinating opportunities for women to play everything from Clowns to Kings.”
A punch in the gut, the play delivers the tales of the suffering and rebirth of its women, but ultimately this is a sacred story of a triumphant emergence from darkness into light. Bursting with music, dancing, swordplay, and circus skills, The Winter’s Tale spins an eloquent text ranging in scope from powerful tragedy to vaudevillian light comedy.
The nucleus behind Classic Chic Productions, Christina Wells Campbell, artistic director; Corina Akeson, production manager; Joanna Redfern, communications and Michelle Martin, fundraising, all accomplished in theatre, are dedicated to performing the classics.
“There are great roles in theatre that women have traditionally not had the opportunity to play but appeal to them as actors and human beings,” says Wells Campbell, quoting from their mission statement. “With Classic Chic we are creating a forum for women to explore these possibilities, and audiences, too.”
Wolpe has played more of the Bard’s male roles than any woman in history, always to superlative reviews. She recently received the Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the LA Theater Community and was awarded the Key to Harlem and a Congressional Certificate of Merit for her work with the Harlem Shakespeare Festival in 2013. While in Vancouver, she will perform her one–woman show Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender at the Orpheum Annex, July 16, presented by Railtown Cultural Eclective, and also offering a crossgender acting workshop.