Late Play by the Bard Runs April 24-May 18
Curio Theatre Company closes its season out with a classic work by William Shakespeare and a trial of a new ticketing initiative. The 2018-2019 will close with a new production of William Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. This story of forgiveness, folly, and redemption will start previews April 24. It will open Saturday, April 27 at 8 p.m. Industry Night is Monday April 29 at 8 p.m. There is a matinee Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. With this show, Curio wanted to look at ways to provide quality theatre programming at a fraction of a cost to the community. The company has introduced CuriosiTix: PLAY It Forward. With this initiative, Curio hopes to welcome new audience members that may have shied away from theatre previously due to financial constraints thereby creating a patron base that represents the evolving neighborhood of West Philadelphia. Tickets are available online at www.curiotheatre.org or by phone at 215-921-8243. All shows are performed at Curio’s home theatre at the Calvary Center for Culture and Community, 4740 Baltimore Avenue.
Written toward the end of William Shakespeare’s career, The Winter’s Tale is a story of folly, forgiveness and redemption. It begins when Leontes, King of Sicily, destroys his family and his oldest friendship in a fit of jealous rage that transforms him into a tyrant. What follows is a play unique among Shakespeare’s work. The Winter’s Taleis part tragedy, part comedy, and concludes with perhaps the most controversial ending ever penned by the Bard.
“This is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. It is mystical and theatrical and has this fierce feminine energy at its core,” said Curio Company Member Liz Carlson-Guerin, who directs the show. “The play starts out with this man who becomes so consumed by rage and jealousy that he destroys everything he loves, and in the typical fashion of a Shakespearean Tragedy his end would be that he ultimately recognizes his flaws and dies. The Winter’s Tale isn’t a Tragedy, it arrives at the brink of total destruction and then it shifts gears. These incredible female characters take over the narrative and offer us another way forward: a way that isn’t simple or easy, but that centers on mercy rather than revenge, on life rather than death. Ultimately it is a story that champions restorative justice, grace and community. As I despair more and more about the state of our world, it is stories like this that give me hope, that help me find a way forward. “
WARNING: Themes of violence against women.
Carlson-Guerin directs this classic work. Company Member and Curio Artistic Director Paul Kuhn plays King Leontes. Company Member Rich Bradford plays Polixenes. Corinna Burns makes her Curio debut playing Hermione Leontes queen. Curio Company Member Tess Kuhn plays Perdita. Curio Company Member Len Kelly plays Antigonus and the Old Shepard. Curio Company Member Aetna Gallagher plays Camillo. Curio Company Member doug greene is the Clown. Mark Christie makes his Curio debut as Florizel and Ebony Pullum makes her Curio Debut as Paulina.
Paul Kuhn is also the Set Designer. Company Member Robin Stamey is the Lighting Designer. Daniel Ison is the Sound Designer. Aetna Gallagher is also the Costume Designer. Company Member Colleen Hughes is the Movement Director. doug greene is also the Props Designer and is designing the backyard space the audience will move into. Lexa Grace is the Stage Manager.
Added Carlson-Guerin, “We’re doing something new and adventurous with this production and that is that we’re going to ask our audience to go on a literal journey with us! As the story shifts, we are asking our audience to shift and experience part of the play outside. We wanted to do this for a lot of reasons – first, is that this is the pilot show for our new CuriosiTix program, and I felt this desire not only that we would open our doors wider and invite more people in, but that we would also go out into our beautiful, vibrant neighborhood and experience it with each other. This is a play about community and a celebration of our community. We are incredibly lucky to have such a loyal and adventurous audience in West Philly and we strive to create spaces and experiences for our neighbors to come together, share a story, go on an adventure, be surprised and delighted – my hope is that this will do that”
About CuriosiTix: PLAY It Forward
A core value of Curio’s education program is that we never turn any student away due to financial constraints. The Barrymore Award winning CuriousiTeens program has used this philosophy to offer theatre training to budding artists ages 12-18. Thanks to a one-time grant, Curio Theatre Company is applying this philosophy to the upcoming production of The Winter’s Tale. With CuriosiTix: Play It Forward, the company is experimenting with carrying this philosophy it into its professional productions to remove financial barriers to the company’s performances.
How Does It Work?
Audience members are encouraged to go online or call the box office to make a reservation to performances as usual. Walk ups are welcome, but seating is limited — make sure to reserve your place ahead of time! Although not necessary when making your reservation, patrons have the option to give money towards their tickets when they reserve or when they get to the theatre. Audience members who would like to “play it forward” and pay towards a seat for their neighbor may do so, though it is not a requirement!
About Curio Theatre Company
Curio Theatre Company’s mission is to serve audiences in West Philadelphia and beyond with high quality, affordable theatre performances; to develop artistic talent through ensemble, company -based training and rehearsal processes; and to further academic, social, and personal development through arts education. The artistic and the educational arms of the theatre company are intertwined as we make our home in the diverse community of West Philadelphia. The company’s Educational program was awarded the 2017 Victory Theatre Education Award at the Barrymore Awards Ceremony. It marked the company’s first Barrymore Award. Curio Theatre Company is a 501(c)3 non-profit company based in West Philadelphia. The Company was founded by professional artists and administrators who met at the Hedgerow Theatre in Rose Valley, PA, and incorporated as a non-profit in 2004.”. After touring locally and internationally for several years, the Company began a search for a permanent home. In January 2005, Curio Theatre Company joined in partnership with the Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 4740 Baltimore Avenue, Philadelphia. This partnership provides Curio with a performance venue and classrooms within the Calvary Center as well as office space and company housing in the adjacent parish house. In return Curio is assisting the Calvary Center in creating a professional Performing Arts Venue in the heart of West Philadelphia.
Photography by Rebecca Gudelunas.
Cast from left to right: Corinna Burns, Ebony Pullum and Tessa Kuhn