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Sweet Tea Shakespeare Cocktail Hours: The Perfect Recipe

Sweet Tea Artistic Director Jeremy Fiebig, Assistant Artistic Director, Claire F. Martin, and Company Member Jessie Wise chat about the ingredients that make a great play. What’s the recipe for a smash-hit?

Welcome to The Sweet Tea Shakespeare Hours, where we spend time well by spending it together. So, think of the Hours as a way to pass the time around a common table of ideas. We’re a community seeking to delight in story, song, and stagecraft even as we confront a world of change and challenge.

You can find our whole catalog at sweetteashakespeare.com

The show is produced by Claire Martin and Jeremy Fiebig and edited by Ashanti Bennett, Director of Engagement.

Podcast copy and show notes written by Kailey Potter.

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Winter’s Tale ~ A Glance Behind the Pages

Historical Background Information—The Winter’s Tale

This aspect of dramaturgy has posed a challenged, because technically this play reflects no actual history, at least on the surface. Probing below the surface however, it is believed to be allegorical to the second marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn, or more to the point, its tragic ending. A little historical background to that is in order.

The English Reformation was different from that of Continental Europe in that

1. It was a largely top-down affair, legislated by the monarchy

2. It had very much to do with the personal life of King Henry VIII.

Henry VIII’s marital record is very well known to history, and much came down to producing a male heir. His first wife, Catherine of Aragon had produced only one surviving child—a daughter, Mary. Then as she aged, Henry genuinely developed the hots for her lady-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn. So Henry appealed to Rome for an annulment of his first marriage, on the retrospectively decided grounds of Catherine’s being his brother Arthur’s widow, something that was apparently disallowed without a dispensation (which they had gotten) The divorce suit was hardly the most frivolous one to come forth from or been granted to a monarch, but it nonetheless threatened to undo the whole legitimacy of Papal Dispensations. Furthermore, at the time, Pope Clement VII was under the political thumb of Catherine’s nephew, Charles V.

The pope therefore had little option but to dither and stall, allowing the suit to proceed in England for the next two years, before suddenly announcing that it had to be brought to Rome anew. Henry, after laying increasing pressure on the Pope, in 1531 compelled an assembly of English clergy to make him “protector and only supreme head” of the Church in England. Then, in 1533, he went ahead and married the already pregnant Anne, without waiting for an annulment of his previous marriage. When the child turned out to be a girl (the future Queen Elizabeth I), it must have seemed all for nothing—Henry refused even to attend her christening. From there, things didn’t work out so well for Anne, after subsequent failed efforts to give the king a son, ending with a miscarriage. Afterward, the king fell in love with her lady-in-waiting, Jane Seymour, his eventual third wife. Rather than attempt another divorce, he had Anne imprisoned and executed on trumped-up charges of adultery with multiple men—including a close friend of the king’s who refused to confess even to avoid execution. It has been suggested then that Perdita was an allegorical presentation of Elizabeth, the unwanted daughter who went on to be one of the greatest (if not greatest) English monarchs in history.

There are also historical circumstances surrounding some of the geographical oddities described in the play. In The Winter’s Tale, there are references to the “seacoast” and “desert” of the Kingdom of Bohemia. If this Bohemia is the same the comprises most of the modern Czech Republic, this does not make sense, because this region has neither desert nor seacoast. But Bohemia in this context may refer to a much larger territory briefly ruled by Ottokar II of Bohemia that included the Adriatic coast, making it theoretically possible to sail from Sicily to the “seacoast of Bohemia” during the period under discussion. Other possibilities are that Bohemia was an alternate name for the region Apulia in Sicily or a misspelling of Bithynia in Asia Minor. The most likely theory is that Shakespeare, when adapting the novella Pandosto – in which King Pandosto of Bohemia was the one who suspected his wife of being unfaithful with his best friend, the King of Sicily – Shakespeare chose to reverse the locations of the two characters. This was because of King James II’s alliance with Rudolph II, the King of Bohemia (and the Holy Roman Emperor!) at the time of the play was first performed—also making it possible for the play to be performed in honor of the marriage of James’s daughter Elizabeth to the crown prince of Bohemia! There are also other explanations for this and other geographic improbabilities that have been discussed in a separate literary history of the play.

Beyond Bohemia, there is also the question of why Shakespeare located the Oracle of Delphi on an island, when Delphi (ancient and modern) is located in the mountains in Central Greece. Rather, this seeming relocation of the Oracle to the island of Delos (known in Shakespeare’s time as Delphos) is lifted straight from Pandosto, whose author in turn refers Virgil’s Aeneid.

The Winter’s Tale | January 9-25, 2015

Sweet Tea Shakespeare presents William Shakespeare‘s The Winter’s Tale in January

Sweet Tea Shakespeare will present William Shakespeare‘s haunting and inspiring play, The Winter’s Tale, January 9-25 at The Capitol Encore Academy in downtown Fayetteville, North Carolina.
One of Shakespeare‘s last plays, the tragicomic story follows Leontes, King of Sicilia, who grows increasingly jealous of his wife’s affections toward Leontes’ childhood friend, Polixenes. Leontes’ jealousy explodes with catastrophic and deadly results. Sixteen years later, the play picks up in Polixenes’ homeland, Bohemia, with a festive sheepshearing and a story of forbidden young love between Polixenes’ child and a remarkable shepherd’s daughter. The tragic tale of Leontes and his family is stitched back together with a lively, beautiful, and haunting tale about finding lost things.
The production features live preshow and intermission music by Sweet TeaShakespeare‘s house band, The Suspenders, plus dance, wonderful outdoor-turned-indoor environs, and fun.
The cast includes Nathan Pearce, Marie Lowe, Tohry Petty, Jessica Osnoe, Brandon Bryan, Reagan Carstens, Nicole Callaghan, Joey Narvaez, Amy Cox, Chris Phillips, and Elliott Fiebig.

PERFORMANCE RUN

Jan 9-11, 16-18, 23-25 at 7pm nightly
Matinees on Jan 17th & 25th at 2pm

LOCATION

All performances will be held at the Capitol Encore Academy, 126 Hay Street Fayetteville, NC 28301. Parking available off Old Street.

TICKETS

$12 general admission
$10 senior citizens/military
$8 young adult prices (22-34 yrs. with ID) – Thursday and Sunday nights ONLY
$5 Students and Children 6-12 yrs.
Free under 5 years. Purchase tickets online at: http://sweetteashakespeare.com/ or call (910) 672-1724 to purchase tickets over the phone. You can also purchase tickets on-site.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Girl Scouts and Home Schooler Day
Sunday, January 25th — 2pm performanceSpecial Activities
Scavenger hunt through the play
Girl Scouts can earn a patch after participating in the scavenger hunt and staying for the entire performance.

Special Price for Girl Scout family and friends and homeschooler students, families, and friends: $5
Space is limited. Reservations strongly encouraged.

Senior Day
Saturday, January 17th — 2pm performance

Special Price for Senior Group reservations: $8 per ticket
Space is limited. Reservations strongly encouraged.

Artists’ Night
Sunday, January 18th — 7pm performance

If you’re a member of the Fayetteville arts community — an actor, painter, sculptor, or musician — join us for a special night and a special price with ADVANCE reservations and a special pre-show buzz session.

$8 per ticket in advance. Reserve by emailing [email protected]sweetteashakespeare.com.

Student and Educator Night
Saturday, January 10 — 7pm

$5 tickets for students and $8 tickets for educators (Pre-K through College!). Join us for a talkback after the show with actors and educators, plus learn about opportunities for student engagement and faculty development on future Sweet TeaShakespeare projects.

Secure a study guide and lesson plans IN ADVANCE for teachers and students who plan to attend. Email [email protected]are.com for your study materials.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare (STS), a project of Fayetteville State University, seeks to celebrate the wonder of Shakespeare, other classic plays, and new work in beautiful environments with family-style flare by providing simple, elemental, magical theatre experiences with a nod to the diversity and heritage of southeast North Carolina. STS imagines, enacts, and embraces theatre in the spirit of Shakespeare and early modern performance as it seeks to employ the ingenuity and drive behind Shakespeare’s own company through productions, educational opportunities, artist development, and community engagement.

Winter’s Tale – Dramaturgy

Historical Background Information—The Winter’s Tale

By Dr. Susan Breitzer

This aspect of dramaturgy has posed a challenged, because technically this play reflects no actual

history, at least on the surface. Probing below the surface however, it is believed to be allegorical to the

second marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn, or more to the point, its tragic ending. A

little historical background to that is in order.

The English Reformation was different from that of Continental Europe in that 1. It was a largely top-
down affair, legislated by the monarchy 2. It had very much to do with the personal life of King Henry

VIII. Henry VIII’s marital record is very well known to history, and much came down to producing a

male heir. His first wife, Catherine of Aragon had produced only one surviving child—a daughter, Mary.

Then as she aged, Henry genuinely developed the hots for her lady-in-waiting, Anne Boleyn. So Henry

appealed to Rome for an annulment of his first marriage, on the retrospectively decided grounds of

Catherine’s being his brother Arthur’s widow, something that was apparently disallowed without a

dispensation (which they had gotten) The divorce suit, was hardly the most frivolous one to come forth

from or been granted to a monarch nonetheless threatened to undo the whole legitimacy of Papal

Dispensations. Plus at the time, Pope Clement VII was under the political thumb of Catherine’s nephew,

Charles V.

The pope therefore had little option but to dither and stall, allowing the suit to proceed in England for

the next two years, before suddenly announcing that it had to be brought to Rome anew. Henry, after

laying increasing pressure on the Pope, in 1531 compelled an assembly of English clergy to make him

“protector and only supreme head” of the Church in England. Then, in 1533, went ahead and married

the already pregnant Anne, without waiting for an annulment of his previous marriage. Then the child

was turned out to be a girl (the future Queen Elizabeth I), it must have seemed all for nothing—Henry

refused even to attend her christening. From there, things didn’t work out so well for Anne, after

subsequent failed efforts to give the king a son, ending with a miscarriage. Afterward, the king fell

in love with her lady-in-waiting, Jane Seymour, his eventual third wife. Rather than attempt another

divorce, he had Anne imprisoned and executed on trumped-up charges of adultery with multiple

men—including a close friend of the king’s who refused to confess even to avoid execution. It has been

suggested then that Perdita was an allegorical presentation of Elizabeth, the unwanted daughter who

went on to be one of the greatest (if not greatest) English monarchs in history.

There are also historical circumstances surrounding some of the geographical oddities described in

the play. In The Winter’s Tale there are references to the “seacoast” and “desert” of the Kingdom of

Bohemia. If this Bohemia is the same the comprises most of the modern Czech Republic, this does not

make since, because this region has neither desert nor seacoast. But Bohemia in this context, may

refer to a much lager territory briefly ruled by Ottokar II of Bohemia that included the Adriatic coast,

making it theoretically possible to sail from Sicily to the “seacoast of Bohemia” during the period under

discussion. Other possibilitiesare that Bohemia was an alternate name for the region Apulia in Sicily or

misspelling of Bithynia in Asia Minor. The most likely theory is that Shakespeare, when adapting the

novella Pandosto, in which King Pandosto of Bohemia was the one who suspected his wife of being

unfaithful with his best friend, the King of Sicily, Shakespeare chose to reverse the locations of the

two characters. This was because of King James II’s alliance with Rudolph II, the King of Bohemia (and

the Holy Roman Emperor!)at the time of the play was first performed—also making it possible for the

play to be performed in honor of the marriage of James’s daughter Elizabeth to the crown prince of

Bohemia! There are also other explanations for this and other geographic improbabilities that will be

discussed in a separate literary history of the play.

Beyond Bohemia, there is also the question of why Shakespeare located the Oracle of Delphi on an

island, when Delphi (ancient and modern) is located in the mountains in Central Greece. Rather, this

seeming relocation of the Oracle to the island of Delos (known in Shakespeare’s time as Delphos) is

lifted straight from Pandosto, whose author in turn refers Virgil’s Aeneid.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare Auditions

Sweet Tea Shakespeare will host auditions for its productions of Julius Caesar, Antigone, and The Winter’s Tale on July 17 from 4-6pm with callbacks on July 18 from 4-6pm.

Julius Caesar will rehearse beginning August 19 and run from September 22-28, including at least one daytime performance for schools. This will be an outdoor performance. Antigone, part of our new Honey series for women, will rehearse in late September through October and will run November 5-9. We anticipate this being an indoor performance. The Winter’s Tale will rehearse through the fall, with performances running weekends in January (9-25). This will be an indoor performance. Auditioners may be cast for Julius Caesar; these are screening auditions for Antigone and The Winter’s Tale — additional audition dates for those shows will be added in the fall. Musicians of any sort are particularly encouraged to audition. STS employs cross-gender casting of roles. Auditions are cold readings from sides, which will be available on site at auditions. Rehearsals will begin with intensive text work. Actors are typically required to arrive at the first rehearsal memorized and having completed some text homework (with instruction provided). Shows will be double cast, with total casts being not more than 12-15 people. Actors will customarily play more than one part.

As part of the STS experience, actors are typically expected to take part in one or more of the following activities: -musical entertainment prior to the show, during the show, and/or at intermission -other entertainments, such as juggling, dancing, etc. -audience interaction, including selling merchandise, handing out programs, etc. before the show and at intermission -assisting with set up and strike of costumes, props, scenery, lighting, and sound equipment for each performance as part of a team -assisting with social media marketing STS pays a stipend of not less than $50 and not more than $400 per role, with the bulk of stipends being in the $50 to $100 range.

Auditions are by appointment only. To make an appointment, email [email protected] with your resume and headshot. If you have neither, please email a summary of your experience and a photo.