Press Release

Shakespeare by the Sea announces productions, cast and creatives for its 21st Season. Beginning at the seaside , and continuing on to tour at twenty-two parks throughout Southern California, Shakespeare by the Sea continues its notable mission to create enduring theatrical experiences for audiences in culturally diverse communities, making quality theatre accessible to all. For 2018, SBTS has chosen two of William Shakespeare’s most intriguing plays, The Merry Wives of Windsor and The Winter’s Tale.

“Jealousy is a common thread that runs through both productions this season – but how it’s handled by Shakespeare’s characters is as different as chalk and cheese,” says Producing Artistic Director, Lisa Coffi, “however both plays come full circle with forgiveness, resolution, and a sense that they’re all moving on to embrace what comes next. A relatable theme for all of us – any age, any ethnicity, any background.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor will be directed by SBTS veteran actor and director Cylan Brown (returning for his 3rd year as a director). The Winter’s Tale will be helmed by Ovation Award-winner, Stephanie A. Coltrin (returning for her 9th consecutive year).

The 46 roles in these two plays will be performed by the 2018 SBTS 21-member acting troupe:

B.J. Allman (Polixenes/Dr. Caius), Chris Aron (Antigonus/Time), Cylan Brown (Autolycus/Goeler/4th Lord), Jon Cates (Florizel/2nd Lord), Leah Dalrymple (Hermione/Dorcas/Mistress Quickly), Glen Eaton (Shallow), Jonathan Fisher (Clown/3rd Lord/Sir Hugh Evans), Kieran Flanagan (Slender), Ellen Girvin (Mistress Ford), Issac Jay (Fenton/Host), Tom Killam (Old Shepherd/1st Lord/Falstaff), Ryan Knight (Dion/Bohemian/Master Page), Robert O’Hare (Master Ford), Piper Power (Rugby/Nym/Robert), Allie Pratt (Mamilius/Perdita), Greg Prusiewicz (Camillo), Bridgid M. Rose (Paulina/Bohemian/Mistress Page), Olivia Schlueter-Corey (Emilia/Mopsa), Sean Spencer (Cleomenes/Bohemian/Simple/Pistol/John), Samantha Winters (Anne Page/Robin), and Patrick Vest (Leontes/Bohemian).

The two separate stage worlds of Wives and Winter will be invented by set designer Aaron Jackson and Costume Designers Diana Mann (Wives) and Jeff Shoenberg (Winter). The Tour Manager is Sara Haddadin, and Stage Managers Elena M. Cruz and Kira Sherman.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is a rollicking romantic comedy which tells of Falstaff’s folly: courting two married women at the same time. It’s mischief and mayhem galore.

A legend in his own mind, ne’er-do-well Sir John Falstaff believes he has found the cure for all his financial problems. He’ll seduce two of the wealthiest ladies in town and relieve them of their virtue along with their change purses. But the two smart and sassy Real Housewives of Windsor are onto Sir John and they tease and humiliate him at every turn. Add in a jealous husband, a pair of hapless suitors, two hot-headed rivals, and a young couple in love, and this merry farce careens to a happy ending with all involved, including the tormented Sir John, agreeing to “laugh this sport o’er by a country fire.”

Director Brown shares, “I am fascinated with The Merry Wives of Windsor because it is Shakespeare’s only portrayal of the Elizabethan middle class. It’s also the only play he named solely after his female characters, which is fitting as it is a sheer delight to watch the two wives of Windsor pull their delicious pranks on the overconfident Falstaff. With colorful characters including bombastic French doctors, secret young lovers, jealous husbands and comically awkward suitors, we are treated to lighthearted shenanigans as the denizens of this small borough gossip, hatch plans, and plot revenges against one another.”

The Winter’s Tale is the story of Leontes, a King who banishes his family wrongfully, and is taught the meaning of forgiveness through the inspired plan of a wise, loyal woman.

In an instant, King Leontes loses all that he holds dear. His wife, his son, and his best friend are ripped from him by his wild and baseless jealousy. His newborn daughter is banished, and taken away to be abandoned far from court; not expected to survive. His wife seemingly dies of a broken heart, his son dies from sadness over his mother’s fate, and his best friend barely escapes with his life after nearly being poisoned. Too late, Leontes realizes how wrong he was. But is it too late for a miracle or two? Maybe love, once thought lost, can be ultimately found.

Director Coltrin quotes from The Winter’s Tale: “It is required you do awake your faith.” She adds, The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s final and finest creations and I am thrilled to be directing it for our 21st season. The story illustrates the epic, heart-breaking, tragic consequences of jealousy, but unlike Shakespeare’s tragedies, provides redemption and forgiveness in the form of a miracle. Filled with extraordinary language, its drama is matched by its comedy, and throughout there is a sense of the magical power of grace. When what’s gone and what’s past help is not past grief, the story reminds us that what was lost can indeed be found.”

Admission Free. Donations gratefully accepted.

Performance and Location Schedule:

Jun 14-16, 28, 30/Jul 6/Aug 18
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Point Fermin Park, San Pedro

Jun 21-22, 23, 29/Jul 5, 7/Aug 17
The Winter’s Tale
Point Fermin Park, San Pedro

July 8
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Hesse Park, Rancho Palos Verdes

July 11
The Winter’s Tale
Valley Park, Hermosa Beach

July 12
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Valley Park, Hermosa Beach

July 13
The Winter’s Tale
Monte Verde Park, Lakewood

July 14
The Winter’s Tale
Rush Park, Rossmoor

July 15
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Rush Park, Rossmoor

July 18
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Schabarum Park, Rowland Heights

July 19
The Winter’s Tale
Garfield Park, South Pasadena

July 20
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Marine Mammal Ctr., San Pedro

July 21
The Winter’s Tale
Cesar Chavez Park, Long Beach

July 22
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Cesar Chavez Park, Long Beach

July 25
The Winter’s Tale
La Mirada Reg. Park, La Mirada

July 26
The Winter’s Tale
Birch Park, Santa Ana

July 27
The Winter’s Tale
Wilson Park, Torrance

July 28
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Wilson Park, Torrance

July 29
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Terranea Resort, Rancho PV

August 1
The Winter’s Tale
Adventure Country Park, Whittier

August 2
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Garfield Park, South Pasadena

August 3
The Winter’s Tale
Potocki Ctr for Arts, Misn. Viejo

August 4
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Los Encinos Park, Encino

August 5
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Eisenhower Park, Seal Beach

August 8
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Soka University, Aliso Viejo

August 9
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Roxbury Park, Beverly Hills

August 10
The Winter’s Tale
Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach

August 11
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Polliwog Park, Manhattan Beach

August 12
The Merry Wives of Windsor
Crown Valley Prk, Laguna Nigel

August 15
The Winter’s Tale
CSU Dominguez Hills, Carson

August 16
The Merry Wives of Windsor C
SU Dominguez Hills, Carson

Audiences throughout Southern California have come to love Shakespeare by the Sea for its high value productions of Shakespeare’s plays, presented free of admission in dozens of local parks each summer. This year, the company will deliver 42 performances, beginning and ending with its hometown crowd at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro. The tour has become a much-anticipated event each summer, drawing an audience of more than 20,000 each of the past several years, to enjoy Shakespeare under the summer sky.

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