The Winter’s Tale by Gia Ochsenbein
(High School Student Reviewer)
Ever wonder what Texas would be like if everyone spoke with the idealistic literary genius of William Shakespeare? It sounds crazy, but like most crazy things it can be done. The Winter’s Tale at the Alley Theatre combines Shakespeare’s vocabulary with Texas drawl and style to create a mixture of Houston swagger with Elizabethan decadence. It’s set between two worlds: Sicilia, set in a lavish downtown apartment; and Bohemia, a king ranch modeled place straight out of a Spaghetti Western. This contrast between the two worlds expresses the distance between the two countries, and their unique styles. The jewel in this play was how the actor’s brought their own Texas flair to the world of The Winter’s Tale. With a variation of country twang and inner city suaveness in each actor’s voice, one would feel as if they were talking to their next door neighbor. Each actor shines brightly through their use of Houston’s unique dialect by taking this crafted language and making it their own. This adaption shows how this play is a chameleon that can be fitted to any setting, time, or space.
When an average kid my age hears the words, “William Shakespeare,” and “cool” in the same sentence, they sigh and roll their eyes. They think, “How can someone make Shakespeare even remotely cool?” The Alley Theatre added cool points to Shakespeare with their use of music, contemporary characters, and clothes. They brought this old play into a present age for modern audiences. Theatre (especially Shakespeare) gets a bad wrap from kids and teens over its ability to make them go to sleep. The Alley took this conventional image and made kids apart of the audience where they get to have fun. The music is cool and currant, the acting and speech are easy to understand from the use of props and the set, and the story is even from the view of King Leontes’ young son Mamilius! These are just some of the ways the Alley elongates Shakespeare to its younger audience, and allows them to be apart of this amazing piece of theatre. It is vital that kids have a Shakespeare that is made for them, and the Alley Theatre proves that this amazing form of theatre can be enjoyed by everyone young and old.
Romantic tale of redemption
THE WINTER’S TALE
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Rob Melrose
September 13 – October 13, 2019
This whimsical tale of romance, tragedy, and comedy will be seen through the imaginative eyes of a young, Houstonian child. Featuring the entire Resident Acting Company.