Summer festival comes to a close with ‘Winter’s Tale’

The Epidaurus Festival of Ancient Drama, organized by the Greek Festival, will wrap up this weekend with William Shakespeare’s «Winter’s Tale.» Directed by Sam Mendes – the British Oscar-winning film director of «American Beauty,» who has also won several commendations for his stage work, including three Laurence Olivier awards and a Tony – the production brings together a British-American A-list cast that includes the acclaimed UK stage actor Simon Russell Beale, Ireland’s Sinead Cusack, rising star Rebecca Hall («Vicky Cristina Barcelona»), as well as film stars Ethan Hawke, Richard Easton and Josh Hamilton. On stage at the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus on August 21 and 22, the play is a joint collaboration of the Old Vic theater of London, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) of New York and Neal Street Productions for the Bridge Project initiative, launched by actor Kevin Spacey and the Old Vic. The aim of the three-year venture is to showcase British and American talent across the world in a series of productions that include Anton Chekhov’s «Cherry Orchard» and «The Winter’s Tale» in 2009, and, in 2010, «The Tempest» and «As You Like It,» also by Shakespeare. The Epidaurus performance celebrates the end of the initiative’s first year and marks the end of a tour that has taken in Brooklyn, London, Auckland, Singapore, the Ruhr Theater Festival in Germany and Madrid. The music for the production is by Mark Bennett and conducted by Dan Lipton. Sets are by Anthony Ward and costumes by Catherine Zuber. For tickets & details:

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