The Christendom Players brought William Shakespeare’s classic The Winter’s Tale to life in the college’s St. Lawrence Commons this past weekend, November 11-13, 2022. The college’s annual fall play, following on the heels of last year’s hugely successful Murder on the Nile, provided an inspiring weekend of entertainment for the community, with incredible performances from the Christendom Players helping to tell Shakespeare’s tragic comedy.
Directed by alumna Elizabeth Foeckler, The Winter’s Tale marked her second Shakespeare production, following her “highlight reel” show An Evening with Shakespeare that was performed in 2016. The Winter’s Tale, which will be celebrating its four-hundredth anniversary of publication next year, is one of Shakespeare’s late romances, with the first three acts filled with psychological drama before giving way to a final two comic acts. The show, according to Foeckler, is one of Shakespeare’s more inspiring plays but also one of his more challenging — a challenge that the students gladly took on.
“It’s definitely a tough show to do, especially because it’s a tragic comedy,” says Foeckler. “Most people come into a Shakespeare show expecting one or the other, or perhaps history, but this one had a little bit of both. Further, it can be a beautiful reflection on the Eucharist. It’s a great challenge, and one that is suited extremely well to the students acting at Christendom, who are already committing themselves to a very high level of academia and work. It just takes it to the next level.”
Foeckler’s production, once again co-directed by alumna Anne Sullivan, was the first full Christendom Players production of a Shakespeare play in eleven years, making it a particularly important show for all involved. The students, particularly a strong group of female actors, spent countless hours preparing for the show, resulting in one of the Christendom Players’ more moving productions.
“The last time Christendom had done any Shakespeare prior to  was during my time as a student, in the spring of 2011 when the college did The Merchant of Venice,” said Foeckler. “This particular show was one that I kept hearing about from many sources, particularly Anne Sullivan and [philosophy professor] Dr. Daniel McInerny, so we decided to give it a go. I was delighted to be able to offer this challenge to the students. Everyone worked so hard and I’m so happy with the way it all turned out.”
The Christendom Players are a student-run group that performs two theatrical productions a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. In the past, the group has performed Les Miserables, The Crucible, The Drowsy Chaperone, Hello, Dolly!, Anything Goes, Murder on the Nile, The Music Man and other elaborate productions.