In the harsh winter of betrayal, and in the newness of springtime, truth and hope endure in Shakespeare's epic fable, The Winter's Tale. It's an enchanting tale of loves lost and found, that celebrates the virtue of forgiveness. In the story, an insanely jealous king dumps his wife, Hermione -- wrongly believing she is pregnant by another man -- and banishes her baby, too. Some of the best lines in the play are given to Hermione and her defenders, who call out the king for his cold cruelty. Sixteen years pass, and as the seasons turn, Shakespeare treats the audience to the springtime delights and rituals of Bohemia, where Hermione's daughter Perdita lives, unaware that she is a lost princess. The members of the royal family will eventually meet again in a surprise ending, all the wiser for their experiences. Of course, some people just love the play because it contains Shakespeare's most famous stage direction: "Exit, pursued by a bear." Who is being chased by a bear, and why? Come to Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's production and find out!