The Tempest Is Magical At A.R.T.
A Brilliant Reshaping of Shakespeare's Storm-Swept Saga
By: Mark Favermann - 05/17/2014
Edmund Lewis, Dawn Didawick, Christopher Donahue, Tom Nelis, Louis Butelli.
Part of the Flooring Design on the stage
Nate Dendy (Ariel), Tom Nelis (Prospero), Charlotte Graham (Miranda)
Alonso (Christopher Donohoe), Gonzala (Dawn Didawick), Antonio (Louis Butelli) and Sebastian (Edmund Lewis) find the magic table
Joby Earle (Ferdinand) and musicians Nate Tucker, Shaina Taub and Miche Braden
Trinculo (Jonathan Kim), Stephano (Eric Hissom), Caliban (Manelich Minniefee and Zach Eisenstat) and Ariel (Nate Dendy)
Trinculo (Jonathan Kim) and Stephano (Eric Hissom) meet Caliban (Manelich Minniefee and Zach Eisenstat). Production Photos: The Smith Center/Geri Kodey
Co-Director, Illusionist Teller
Believed to have been written around 1610–11, and thought to be Shakespeare's last play, The Tempest is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, schemes to restore his daughter to her rightful place using his gift for illusion and manipulation.
He conjures up a storm, yes, a tempest, to lure his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples to the island. There, his machinations expose Antonio's lowly nature, this is followed by the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Prince Ferdinand.
This production features a funky band called Rough Magic that occupies the second story of the set. It performs songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, plus incidental music and a variety of punctuating sound effects. Led by triple threat music director, singer and instrumentalist Shaina Taub and vocalist-bassist Miche Braden, the music adds to the dreamscape atmosphere. Shaina Taub is particularly gifted.
Here Shakespeare’s tale of a father and daughter, the spirit servant Ariel and the monstrous Caliban along with palace and familial deception and intrigue are creatively conjured into a play of dreams and reality, illusion and eventual truth. A.R.T.'s The Tempest is a wondrous theatrical event of major proportions.