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"The Winter's Tale" guest director has ties to Central Louisiana

Released: 04/13/2005

Director Jack Wann is returning to Central Louisiana with his staging of Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” for LSU Alexandria’s upcoming Shakespeare-on-the-Greene. The play runs from April 20-23. Shakespeare-on-the-Greene, the university’s annual festival of Renaissance, is April 22 and 23.

Currently acting and directing professionally in New York City, Wann served for 16 years as Artistic Director of Theatre at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. He continues his teaching at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, where he also directs.

Jim Stacy, director of theatre at LSU Alexandria, said he was delighted to have Wann as a guest director because “he is a master at staging Shakespeare. He has a love for and understanding of every word the Bard wrote. That love is evident in his book ‘Shakesperience’ (a guide for acting Shakespeare) which has had popular success all over the country.”

Heading the cast for the annual festival production are John Cady as Autolycus, Donald Caplan as Leontes, P.J. Davis-Oran as Paulina, John Hebert as Polixines, Erin Plauche as Perdita and Karen Slatten as Hermione.

Others include Jessica Barnes as Katherine, Jessica M. Double as Emelia, Jessica Evans as Dorcas, Paul Hand as the Clown, Harvey Kimble as Father Time, Kristen Lemoine as Mopsa, Ann McDowell as Margaret, Cassandra Mealer as Constance, Christian Patton as Mamillius, Ross Schexnayder as Camillo and T.J. Webb as Floritzel. LSU Alexandria faculty members in the cast include Bernard Gallagher as the Shepherd, Doran O’Donnell as the Mariner, Rhonda Shook as Dignitary/Festival-goer and Stacy as Antigonus.

Staged on the central lawn of the LSU Alexandria campus, the show runs April 20, 21 and 22 at sundown (around 7:30) and Saturday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. Admission is free, and audience members are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for comfortable sitting. No reservations are necessary. Other festival activities are planned for the Friday and Saturday of the run.

This production will be Wann’s third opportunity to direct “The Winter’s Tale.” When asked what the play meant to him, he selected a quote from the script: “’Thou mett’st with things dying, I with things newborn.’ So says the shepherd at the end of Act I of the play, an allegorical story of rebirth, redemption, and forgiveness. As surely as spring follows winter, so even the darkest deeds may be redeemed.”

Creating the setting of an icy winter world in Act I and a flowering spring world in Act II will be set designer Richard Gwartney and technical director O’Donnell, who will also handle lighting and sound.