Shakespeare Festival Returns to Cal Poly Pomona

Shakespeare Festival Returns to Cal Poly Pomona
Marcos Tellos as Florizel, Brittney Kalmbach as Perdita, Baron Kelly as Camillo and Linda Bisesti as Paulina in “The Winter's Tale.” Shows begin Sept. 8.

Reserve tickets now for the annual Southern California Shakespeare Festival's rendition of “The Winter's Tale,” which runs Sept. 8  through Sept. 30. All performances are at 8 p.m. in the university's Studio Theatre.

One of Shakespeare's final plays, “The Winter's Tale” was written shortly before the bard retired and returned to his wife and daughters in Stratford. In the play, a series of unfortunate events devastate a family, and then the plot leaps 16 years ahead as harmony is slowly restored. “The Winter's Tale” successfully mixes tragedy with comedy, fantasy and romance.

“The Winter's Tale” is directed by Lisa Wolpe, artistic director of the Ovation Award-winning Los Angeles Women's Shakespeare Company. The cast includes two professors, seven AEA professional actors, six Cal Poly Pomona students, and two alumni. The actors have worked in film (“The Big Empty”, “Love is the Drug”), television (“Law & Order”, “West Wing”) and on stage (Royal Shakespeare Company).

“The caliber of actors for 'The Winter's Tale' is very strong,” said festival co-founder Linda Bisesti, an actor and Cal Poly Pomona assistant professor of theatre. “We're trying to create a Shakespeare that is colorblind and universal in appeal, so our returning audiences will notice this year's cast strongly reflects the surrounding community in terms of diversity.”

A brainchild of Bisesti and actor Peter Uribe, the Southern California Shakespeare Festival provides the region a chance to enjoy Shakespeare's timeless work each year, while providing collaborative opportunities and a creative outlet for professional actors and students. Last year's performances of “King John” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona” quickly sold out.

Organizers recommend calling in advance for tickets. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $12 for students and seniors. Performances are scheduled at 8 p.m. on Sept. 8-9, 15-16, 21-23 and 29-30.

An opening reception will follow the Sept. 9 show. For more information, call (909) 869-3800.