THE WINTER'S TALE
Conceptual Design using
The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park's Marx Theatre
Directed by Rebekah Scallet
Scenic Design: DJ Pike
Lighting Design: Joshua Mullady
Costume Design: M. Hromek
Sound Design: Tate E. Thompson
Projection Design: Kaylin Gess
Photos by Kaylin Gess
THE WINTER’S TALE follows the journey of Leontes, king of Sicilia, as he internally wrestles with jealousy of the male heart.
Our world of THE WINTER’S TALE is inspired by Arthur Rackham’s fantasy illustrations, whose most notable works are pen and ink drawings that possess strong linework, texture, and muted palettes, and the colorful pastoral scenes of the Pre-Raphaelites. We connected the darkness and detail of Rackham’s work to Leontes’ suffering and jealousy and the vibrancy of the Pre-Raphaelites to Polixenes and Bohemia. By blending these two styles, we set the production within a realistic, but extraordinary, world.
To support the ever-present serious tone of the production, I found themes which reflect Leontes’ internal conflicts. By emphasizing low strings and brass, Sicilia becomes isolating, cold, and heavy. Similar to Sicilia and Leontes, the Bear symbolizes the harsh bitterness of death. Contrarily, bears are also associated with nurturing and creativity. By emerging from its hibernation and consuming Antigonus, the Bear suggests a rebirth in the spring. The Bear indicates the melding of darkness and light. Once we move to Bohemia, the atmosphere becomes welcoming, warm, light, and full of life. To convey this contrast, I used high strings and woodwinds. Upon returning to Sicilia, the warmth and lightness of Bohemia slowly merges and eventually overwhelms the harshness Leontes has created. This leaves the ending hopeful and promising.