Insiders Recap: The Winter’s Tale
By A Noise Within
February 27, 2020
For our very first Insiders session of the decade, we were thrilled to welcome Dr. Kimberly Huth as our speaker to lead us in a discussion about The Winter’s Tale! Dr. Huth’s specialties in Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, drama, poetry, and critical theory helped make her the perfect facilitator for our evening of conversation. With excitement and chatter, we packed ourselves into the conference room for our first-ever SOLD OUT session! We had many new faces join us, which made the evening’s debates all the more fascinating and enriching. Once everyone had enough chocolate sandwich cookies on their plates and enough wine in their cups, we jumped right in.
The first topic we delved into was that of “jealousy,” not only within the context of the play and Shakespeare’s other works (does Othello come to mind?), but also within our modern society. We pondered the question, “Where does Leontes’ jealousy come from, and how are we supposed to react to it?” Various members agreed that Leontes’ journey is often difficult to process for audiences, because in order to get to the radical forgiveness at the end of the play, we have to fully believe that he is in the wrong, and that Hermione is wholly innocent. One of our members astutely noted that although that kind of forgiveness is difficult, it was not granted overnight – 16 years had to pass!
The conversation then transitioned into the significance of hands within the play. Dr. Huth noted that hands are often seen as the agent of the body, and this play does an excellent job of highlighting this through characters constantly interacting with their hands. We discussed the example of Florizel and Perdita in Act 4 Scene 4, when he states, “I take thy hand,” and how this moment can actually be seen as a hand fasting ceremony, a legal declaration of betrothal. There were some “oooh’s” and “ahh’s” around the room as we recognized how much this increased the stakes of the scene. Polixines was not just upset about a proposal, he saw it as an actual wedding ceremony, right on the spot! “Well, you have to hand it to him,” one of our Insiders punned as we moved on to our next topic of conversation…
The evening continued with talks of fairytales, source texts, the ever-interesting stage direction, “exit, pursued by a bear,” and finally a discussion of A Noise Within’s very own production of The Winter’s Tale. From Paulina’s (Deborah Strang) perfect timing and execution to Hermione’s (Trisha Miller) devastating monologue, we all agreed – A Noise Within’s production is not one to be missed!
Interested in joining us at our next Insiders session? Contact Alicia Green at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up today!