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O Conto do Inverno (The Winter’s Tale) (Herz, 2004)

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O Conto do Inverno (The Winter’s Tale)

The Winter’s Tale by Atores de Laura and directed by Daniel Herz was the first professional performance of The Winter’s Tale in Brazil.

The company used José Roberto O’Shea’s awarded verse translation, which aimed at a poetic register in Portuguese, rather than a simplified or naturalized language use. Such stylized translation helped the company maintain a non-life-like conception of the Shakespearean play, related to the way the staging itself was designed. The play was conceived as an escape from reality, a fairy tale storytelling that one hears with an awareness of its impossibility. A hint to this conception was the make-up worn by most of the characters, which denaturalized the actors’ physical appearance, distancing them from real-world associations. Another hint was the arena stage, where actors and audience members together made a circle surrounding the acting area, suggesting that the storytelling taking place was attended by both performers and spectators, all on the same floor level. The fact that props were hidden among the chairs and the use of a beautiful tapestry on the floor recreating images from the play also contributed to the atmosphere developed.

The ingenious use of the character Time was a remarkable feature of this performance.  Time was made the storyteller, the very owner of the tale being told, and was present at all times during the staging.  It displayed a book before the first scene, flipped some of its pages later, and even used it as its pillow during the sixteen-minute intermission, indicating the passage of sixteen years in the story. This narrator created by Atores de Laura also helped the characters tell the story by, for example, handing Mamillius the book with the sad tale, or using this same book as a tray with a cup and some poison that Camillo nearly used to kill Polixenes.

In general, the production was well received by critics, with few reservations. The true rage of Leontes in his outburst, as well as his honest suffering and redemption were specifically acclaimed, as were the sheep-shearing feast, which directly addressed the spectators, and the comic Autolycus, stealing purses from the ladies in the audience.


Production team:

Director: Daniel Herz
Dramaturg: Marlene Soares dos Santos
Translation: José Roberto O’Shea
Cenography: Ronald Teixeira
Lighting designer: Aurélio de Simoni
Soundtrack and music director: Carlos Cardoso
Costume designer: Heloisa Frederico
Artistic direction of the company: Susanna Kruger, Daniel Herz
Assistant director: Maíra Graber
Movement director: Marcia Rubin
Visual programming: Paula Mello
Assistant lighting designer: Luiz André Alvim
Assistant cenography: George Bravo
Costume assistant: Anna Nodari, Joana Passi de Moraes, Beth Passi de Moraes, Maria Lúcia Barreira
Light arrangement team: Luis Fernando Blau, Rodrigo Pivete, Juliana Moreira
Tapestry making team: Letícia da Hora, Tânia Dutra, Caroline Durtra, Soraya Izar, Maria da Penha, Pedro Izar, Rafael Romão, Tarcísio Firmino
Setting construction: Tapestry making team, cast and team of O Conto do Inverno
Stitcher: Lucia Lima
Executive production: Roberta Schneider, Maria Fonseca
Production director: Susanna Kruger
Project assistant: Márcia Dias


Cast (in alphabetical order by last name):

Luis André Alvim (Sicilian Lord / Old shepherd)

Robert Carvalho (Gaoler / Mariner / Peasant)

Leandro Castilho (Florizel / Official / Mariner)

Márcia Cerqueira (Mopsa / Lady)

Vanessa Dantas (Dorcas / Lady)

Val Elias (Time)

Marcio Fonseca (Antigonus / Sheep-shearing servant)

Maec Francken (Mamillius)

Charles Fricks (Leontes)

Paulo Hamiltonn (Autolycus / Archidamus / Mariner)

Tiago Queiroz Herz (Mamillius)

Susanna Kruger (Paulina / Sheep-shearing boy)

Anderson Mello (Camillo)

João Marcelo Pallotino (Polixenes)

Verônica Reis (Hermione / Sheep-shearing old lady)

Ana Paula Secco (Perdita / Mamillius / Mariner)

The company’s website:

Read a Brazilian dissertation (written in English) that analyzes four stage productions of The Winter’s Tale, including the one by Atores de Laura:

Production description provided by Aline de Mello Sanfelici.

O Conto do Inverno (The Winter’s Tale)

O Conto do Inverno (The Winter’s Tale) : Full Video

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