The play Pericles is currently running at Seattle Shakespeare Company (SSC). Pericles was written by William Shakespeare, and SSC’s version is directed by Sheila Daniels. The role of Pericles is played by Reginald André Jackson, Thaisa is played by Alycia Delmore, and Marina is played by Kate Czajkowski. Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director, Stephanie Shine, also plays the part of Dionyza in the production.
The play takes place along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Pericles is Shakespeare’s attempt at writing an action-adventure play, so it’s full of unexpected turns of fate. During the course of the play there are shipwrecks, incest, tournaments for the heart of a lady, a wedding, death, and brothels.
Molly Tomhave, Reginald André Jackson, and Alycia Delmore in Pericles
Photo by Erik Stuhaug
The theater at SSC is very up close and personal; there are only seven rows of seating and the actors walk up and down the steps between the seats. The set design is very ingenious in that it is able to switch from being a boat to a palace or an island with only a few minor changes. All of the actors are very well cast; they all seem very suited to their own roles. The actors are very talented at speaking in Shakespearean language but still getting their point across. As an ensemble, the cast works very well together. They play off each other and make the play even more interesting. Jackson does a spectacular job as Pericles; he has a very difficult role to play, and he goes above and beyond. Also, Todd Jefferson Moore, who plays all of the many kings as well as the brothel owner, does a spectacular job; he is by far the funniest actor.
Seattle Shakespeare Company has a very nice venue inside the Center House at the Seattle Center. SSC draws a very eclectic crowd of all ages. On opening night, everyone seemed genuinely excited to be there, and there was a lovely post-performance reception, catered by Palomino, which gave an opportunity to meet the cast and directors. SSC does a very good job of making Shakespeare seems intriguing and funny.
As a side note, Pericles does deal with some mature content, such as a brothel and incest, so it may be best not to bring anyone younger than a teenager to the performance. Also, unless you have studied Shakespeare extensively, you may have a little difficulty understanding everything the actors say; so just sit back and, if you don’t understand something, let it go. It will all become clear soon enough.
October 26th, 2007
Seattle Shakespeare Company
Through November 18th
More info and show times: http://www.seattleshakespeare.org/
Seattle Shakes’ Ticket Office: 206-733-8222
Ticket office hours: 1 p.m. – show time
Note: This production contains some mature subject matter, including sexuality. For more information on content, please contact SSC directly.
Seattle Shakespeare Company is located in the Center House Theatre at Seattle Center. It is served by buses 3,4,5,8,16,19,24,74 and 82. For bus times: triplanner.metrokc.gov
Read Delaney's interview with Pericles star Alycia Delmore here.
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