Two young souls learn to navigate a new world and discover each other. Seattle Shakespeare Company starts the New Year with Shakespeare’s fairytale of love and war – All’s Well That Ends Well. Victor Pappas returns to the company to direct the production which runs January 8 through February 3.
“We love having Victor working with us,” said Seattle Shakespeare Company Artistic Director George Mount. “His delightful productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Mrs. Warren’s Profession are highlights for the company. All’s Well That Ends Well is a play that he really, really wanted to do. It was on his ‘bucket list!’ So it made perfect sense to bring him on board to stage it for us. I know he’ll bring his thoughtful care to this often challenging work.”
“I think it’s a play about the beautifully rich complexity of figuring out who you are in the world and how other people affect that,” said Pappas at the first rehearsal for All’s Well That Ends Well. “For Bertram and Helena it is a journey that’s about love and about how one, as a young person, has to make mistakes in order to move past ego and be able to truly love another.”
The world of All’s Well That Ends Well is in decline. Leaders are failing and wars loom large. Smart and unwavering, Helena has pinned her heart to Bertram. He wants nothing to do with her and runs off to the wars for adventure and to escape his newly-arranged marriage. So Helena follows him. Overcoming obstacles and aided by a fantastic collection of comic characters, the two begin separate journeys towards each other, both learning about the paradox of holding love tight as well as letting go.
Pappas and his design team have elected to set the play during the Middle Ages. Shakespeare based All’s Well That Ends Well on an original story based during that period. “It was important to me that it be a time and place where going off to war was not a cynical thing, but a way of proving your valor and of achieving your reputation,” said Pappas. “It is also a period in which chastity is genuinely valuable and is connected to valor.”
Keiko Green and Conner Brady Neddersen play Helena and Bertram in All’s Well That Ends Welll. They are joined by Suzanne Bouchard as Bertram’s mother the Countess of Rossillion, Michael Winters as the King of France, R. Hamilton Wright as Lord Lafew, George Mount as Parolles, and Christopher Morson and Benjamin McFadden as the Dumaine brothers.
Sixteen actors comprise the ensemble of All’s Well That Ends Welll. Set design for the production is by Carol Wolfe Clay, costume design by K.D. Schill, lighting design by Andrew D. Smith, and sound design by Johanna Melamed.