Read "The Winter's Tale"

"... O, she's warm!
If this be magic, let it be an art
Lawful as eating."

A king is maddened by groundless jealousy:

"I have drunk, and seen the spider."

"I am a feather for each wind that blows."

He destroys his family and drives off his best counselor and oldest friend.  Tragedy brings him to his senses too late.  A generation later, there is a miraculous second chance for life, love and reconciliation.

Our characters include:

Two kings, Leontes and Polixenes, who'd been childhood friends,

"Two lads that thought there was no more behind
But such a day to-morrow as to-day,
And to be boy eternal."

Leonte's wife and queen, Hermione, struck suddenly from playfulness to grave dignity:

"I am not prone to weeping...but I have
That honourable grief lodg'd here which burns
Worse than tears drown."

Paulina, a woman unafraid to speak truth to power:

"If I prove honey-mouth'd, let my tongue blister,
And never to my red-looked anger be
The trumpet any more."

And a pair of young lovers:

"When you do dance, I wish you
A wave o’ the sea, that you might ever do
Nothing but that."

Also lords and councillors, shepherds and shepherdesses, a clown, a rogue and "snapper up of unconsidered trifles," Time (in person), and let's not forget the bear.

Location and Logistics: For directions to the Douglass-Truth Library at 23rd & Yesler, including the bus routes that serve it, see here: There is parking on the side streets. If you are coming from the Eastside, note that the I-90 bridge is the closest.

We will be in the meeting room.  Food and non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in the meeting room as long as we clean up after ourselves.

This is a medium-long play.  We read the whole thing, with a break mid-way through, so expect it to take much of the afternoon.  If you need to leave early, just let us know so the parts are covered.  If you have a copy of the play, bring it, but if not we usually have some to share.

If you like to more fully understand the language, you may find  reading or watching the play before hand

"A course more promising
Than a wild dedication of yourselves
To unpathed waters, undreamed shores."

But if you don't have time (or prefer surprises) that's okay.  There is a brief synopsis at this helpful website: as well as a "character circle" diagram at the bottom of the character list here To see how many lines a character has, you can go here and click on "play" and then scroll down to this play to see parts sorted by size  To see which scenes a character is in and how many times the character speaks, go here, find the play, and click on the character's name

To conclude, two quotations to get us past winter:

That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty."

"When daffodils begin to peer,--
With, hey! the doxy over the dale,--
Why, then comes in the sweet o' the year:
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale."


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  • Cole

    I might make it... Saturday morning is moving day for me. But I love this play, so as long as the movers are gone I might rush out and read with you all before returning to the business of unpacking.

    April 26, 2013

  • Mari R.

    I will be attending Shakespeare's Birthday Ball in Portland, I can't wait to see all the costumes :)

    April 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i'm brand spankin' new to the group, but sadly, I'll be out of town for this reading. Hope to catch the next one!

    April 12, 2013

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We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

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