VIDEO: NKU takes on Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale”


Created by Maggie Fulmer

The set up of the stage for Winter’s Tale. It will run from Oct. 20-25.

Kyle Willard, Ethan Houser, and Fabio Souza

Corrie Danieley’s office door is covered from top to bottom in pictures she found on Pinterest. They aren’t photos she chose at random, but are photos she thinks will inspire the cast and crew of each production she directs.

This time around she’s tackling William Shakespeare’s, “The Winter’s Tale,” a play about the King of Bohemia and the King of Sicily. The kings are old friends, but in typical Shakespeare style, drama develops the play into something much more complex.

“It’s about jealousy, it’s about forgiveness and redemption,” Danieley, director and assistant professor of theatre, said. “There’s a little bit of magic in the show. There’s definitely drama, tragedy and comedy.”

Danieley has been in production meetings for the show since last spring and rehearsals started at the beginning of September.

“The most fun thing about the process, so far, has been working as an ensemble together,” Daniely said. “I love bringing everybody’s ideas together and seeing how they work. I have my own ideas, but I think collectively our minds together can produce something really incredible.”

Rhys Boatwright, a senior and BFA acting major, is playing the role of the King of Bohemia named Polixenes. His role is one of the biggest roles he’s had at NKU and he’s excited to be portraying such a complex character.

“Shakespeare with writing characters is really, very meticulous in the specificity of each character,” Boatwright said. “It’s difficult in that he’s [Polixenes] kind of like the good guy in the first act and then in the second act he threatens to kill someone.”

Shakespeare’s language often brings about challenges during rehearsals for those new to his style, but Boatwright was surprised to see people pick it up so quickly.

“A lot of people that are doing Shakespeare have never done Shakespeare before. And I’ve only done one,” Boatwright said. “It’s a totally different process and a totally different concept. Everyone latched right onto it and committed fully to the process.”

Kate Stuard, a recent transfer student to NKU playing the role of Paulinia, also voiced that getting the language down is very important.

“I think the actors are doing a beautiful job of breaking down iambic pentameter and prose and verse,” Stuard said. “[They’re] making it so a modern audience is really able to understand it and comprehend what they’re seeing.”

“The Winter’s Tale” will be put on in NKU’s Robert and Rosemary Stauss Theatre. The theatre utilizes a traverse/alley stage as opposed to your typical proscenium style space. This means that the audience will be sat on two opposite sides; along the lengths of the theatre.

“All the playing happens within the middle which is unique because now the audience is looking at each other. That creates another form of intimacy,” Danieley said. “I think this particular play lends well to that shape of a theatre – a long, narrow acting space.”

The show opens on Oct. 20 and will run until Oct. 25.
“Come in with an open-mind and be ready to be told a story,” Boatwright said.