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Leontes, King of Sicilia, and Polixenes, King of Bohemia, have been friends since childhood. When the play opens, Polixenes has spent nine months as the guest of Leontes and his wife, Queen Hermione, and is now anxious to return home. Leontes presses him to stay longer, to no avail; it is not until Hermione adds her own entreaties that Polixenes finally yields. More ...

Director's notes by Marti Maraden
Two of this season’s plays, The Winter's Tale and The Tempest, are among Shakespeare’s final works. Written within a few months of each other, both were first performed in 1611, and both have at their centre powerful fathers and remarkable daughters. More ...

Program notes by Alexander Leggatt
Among the most powerful words that link people together are: tell me a story. Early in The Winter's Tale Hermione asks her young son Mamillius to tell her a tale. She asks for a merry one, but he replies, “A sad tale’s best for winter.” The story he promises, “of sprites and goblins,” sounds not so much sad as scary, the sort of tale children tell around a campfire to frighten each other. And the play at this point is launched on its own story – no sprites or goblins, but as frightening in its own way as the story Mamillius promises to tell. More ...

Festival Production History

Festival Theatre
DIRECTOR: Douglas Campbell
DESIGNER: Tanya Moiseiwitsch
Christopher Plummer as Leontes
Charmion King as Hermione
Eileen Herlie as Paulina
Jason Robards Jr. as Polixenes
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July 2015
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Multiple Performance Day
Multiple Performance Day 

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