‘The Winter’s Tale’ with Shax Project Chicago

As Leontes, Chris is sucker punched by the green-eyed monster and tailspins into murderous tyranny.


This midwinter Chris returns to the Shakespeare Project of Chicago in a theatrical reading of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

In this late romance — three parts tragedy, one part comedy, one part magic reconciliation — Leontes, King of Sicilia, falls into a fit of irrational, uncontrollable jealousy, thinking his wife, Hermione, is pregnant by his boyhood friend Polixenes. Thus begins an epic tailspin of murderous plots and conspiracy that is only halted when Providence intervenes, and what’s lost is found.

Directed by Barbara Zahora, Chris appears as Leontes opposite Carrie Lee Patterson as Hermione, Matthew Fahey as Polixenes, and Julie Proudfoot as Paulina.

The company also features Gary Alexander as Autolycus, Morgan DiFonzo as Emilia and Dion, Peter Garino as Camillo, Peter Eli Johnson as Cleomenes, Joe Lehman as the Shepherd’s Son, Chris Landis as Florizel, Kim Richard Mowrey as the Shepherd, Charles Stransky as Antigonus, and Amanda Tanguay as Perdita.

Music and sound design are by George Zahora, Michelle Shupe is the assistant director, and John Nygro is the dramaturg.

The Shakespeare Project’s "theatrical readings" are fully staged, on-book presentations that include an introduction to the play by the production dramaturg and a talkback with the company.

Chris returns to The Winter’s Tale after playing Dion and understudying Ben Carlson as Leontes in Marti Maraden’s production for the Stratford Festival. His other appearances as an actor with the Shakespeare Project include Vindici (the revenger) in The Revenger’s Tragedy and Mark Antony in Julius Caesar.

The Winter’s Tale plays January 15–19 at six libraries in and around Chicago. Admission is free. For more info, visit shakespeareprojectchicago.org.

Image courtesy The Shakespeare Project of Chicago