Most everyone knows who William Shakespeare is — not only because of his works, but also because he inspired so many other artists. The Sweet Tea Shakespeare organization is one such group of artists. The group makes live performances fun, inviting and educational to the community of Fayetteville. With help from Fayetteville State University and many other local organizations, Sweet Tea Shakespeare is able to host a diverse body of productions.
The Winter’s Tale is a well-known story complete with romance and drama. It’s not surprising as Shakespeare is known for works that include a forbidden love that ends in the tragedy of heartbreak. This play was one of Shakespeare’s last works, published in 1611.
The Winters Tale is Sweet Tea Shakespeare’s 10th main stage production. Its cast has a diverse group of actors. Jeremy Fiebig, the artistic director, said, “We started winter productions last year and had great success with Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. We think The Winter’s Tale is a great fit, both for the time of year and as a great story after the rush of the holiday season.”
Shakespeare’s writing, like all 16th century writing, is written in old English. The English language builds with time and learning his works can help youth learn to express themselves, not only though writing but also in speech.
The three goals of Sweet Tea Shakespeare are:
1. To vitalize the performance of Shakespeare and other dramas.
2. To foster community and fellowship around the enterprise of theatre in outdoor and other beautiful spaces.
3. To provide exceptional avenues for artists and audiences of all backgrounds.
Sweet Tea Shakespeare encourages participation from all ages, recognizing that the involvement of children in theater is a great way to encourage creativity, while building the kind of confidence and self-esteem that come from being on stage.
The majority of the performers are from Fayetteville, with many of the actors being students at FSU.
“Last year’s winter show was one of our highest attended. We have a total of 11 showings over three weekends and look forward to a healthy crowd to join us at the Capitol Encore Academy building downtown,” said Fiebig.
“We have a small budget that’s generated from ticket sales and the generosity of the Arts Council and other donors,” Fiebig explained. “We put together our productions with these resources and with help from FSU and other local arts groups, volunteers and friends.”
Sweet Tea Shakespeare‘s house band, The Suspenders, will perform live music and refreshments will be served prior to the show’s beginning and during the brief intermission.
Tickets are $12 for general admission. To purchase tickets in advance, visit http://sweetteashakespeare.com or call (910) 672-1724.
Performances are Jan. 9-11, 16-18, 23-25 at 7 p.m. Matinees are on Jan. 17 and 25 at 2 p.m. All performances are at the Capitol Encore Academy, 126 Hay St.