Pericles, Prince of Tyre

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Julia Rodriguez-Elliott

Sept 7 - Nov 24, 2013

“Blissfully eclectic…SUMPTUOUS” – LA Times
“FIRST CLASS…an EXQUISITE journey of delights!” – Examiner
“There is something for EVERYONE in this show!” – Examiner
“A riveting, visually GORGEOUS carnival.” – LA Weekly
“A BEAUTIFUL conjuring of ancient glamour” – LA STAGE TIMES
“Pericles, Prince of Tyre…GLITTERS” – PASADENA ART BEAT

Pericles’ adventure begins in the faraway land of Antioch, where he is determined to solve a riddle composed by King Antiochus. If he decodes the riddle he wins the hand of the King’s beautiful daughter. If Pericles fails, he will be put to death like numerous princes before him. To his dismay, and the King’s fury, Pericles discovers the true meaning of the riddle-that King Antiochus is committing incest with his daughter. Fleeing for his life, he heads back to the kingdom of Tyre. Fearing an attack upon his country by the enraged Antiochus, Pericles takes the advice of his trusted friend Helicanus, and sets sail. Pericles lands on the shores of the famine-stricken land of Tarsus, and befriends its Governess, Dionyza, by an offer of food from his ship. After a short stay, and still fearing for his life, he once again sets sail.

A tremendous storm at sea destroys his ship and crew and he washes ashore at Pentapolis. Through two local fishermen, Pericles learns that the good King Simonides is hosting a jousting tournament in honor of his daughter Thaisa. The coveted prize of the contest is Thaisa’s hand in marriage. The young  Prince wins the tournament, Thaisa’s hand, and her true love as well. After the marriage and a prolonged stay in Pentapolis, Pericles and his now pregnant young wife set sail for Tyre. In the midst of a brutal tempest Thaisa apparently dies while giving birth to Marina (so named by Pericles because she was born at sea). Due to superstitious sailors, Thaisa’s body is placed in a water-tight coffin and thrown overboard where it drifts to the shore of Ephesus. A renowned healer, Cerimon, discovers the casket and miraculously revives Thaisa. Believing that both her beloved husband and newborn daughter have perished in the storm, Thaisa vows to live the rest of her days as a votaress of the Temple of Diana. Pericles, fearful for the infant’s safety on the open seas, returns to Tarsus and entrusts the child to Governess Dionyza.

Fourteen years pass. Marina has become a beautiful and pure-spirited young woman, much to the consternation of Dionyza who is poisoned with jealousy. Dionyza is convinced that her own daughter Philoten has been overshadowed by Marina’s unparalleled beauty. Dionyza hires an assassin to kill Marina. But, just as the fatal blow is about to be administered, Marina is kidnapped by pirates headed toward the land of Mytilene. Arriving at Mytilene, she is sold to the proprietors of a brothel. Marina’s strength and purity of spirit convince every would-be customer of the house of ill-repute to renounce evil intentions forever more. With the help of the Governor of Mytilene, Lysimachus, she is freed from the brothel and becomes renowned for her healing powers. In the meantime, Pericles sails to Tarsus and is told by Dionyza that Marina has died. Distraught with grief, Pericles sets sail, vowing to neither cut his hair nor speak again.

Spying a ship anchored off the coast of Mytilene, Lysimachus comes aboard to find Pericles in deep mourning. Lysimachus summons Marina hoping her powers of healing may prove helpful to the ailing Prince. Pericles and Marina are overjoyed to discover each other’s true identity. Pericles’ fatigue sends him into a deep sleep in which he dreams that the Goddess Diana instructs him to travel to her temple on Ephesus. Upon arriving there, Pericles and Marina recognize and unite with Thaisa, bringing together the family so long split asunder.