Festival Playhouse of Kalamazoo College will produce THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare, May 20-23, 2010 in the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse.
THE TEMPEST is considered by many to be Shakespeare’s farewell to his art. In Kalamazoo College’s play, Prospera, the Duchess of Milan, is usurped and banished by her sister (Antonia) to a barren island where she spends twelve years with her young daughter (Miranda). Their only company on the island is an airy spirit (Ariel,) and (Caliban) a deformed “monster,” both held in service to Prospera.
Our play is the story of Prospera’s long awaited revenge: using magical powers she has perfected during her years in exile, she creates the wild raging storm that brings the ship carrying not only Antonia, but also the King of Naples (Alonso), his son (Ferdinand), and other characters that provide love, comedy, and forgiveness, at least for some.
The casting of THE TEMPEST is unconventional. The audition process revealed that not enough men were going to be available to cast both the THE TEMPEST and the Spring Senior Performance Series production, THREE DAYS OF RAIN.
Director Karen Berthel saw this situation as an opportunity to look at other options within Shakespeare’s text, and made some male characters, female instead. “What has emerged is a Shakespearean world with more women in it than one is used to seeing: women who have occupations, conversations, and opinions. Some lovely, loyal friendships, and some steamy relationships present in the text are popping from these changes,” said Berthel
Technical Director, Jon Reeves was inspired by Shakespeare line "the ground indeed is tawney" in the script to give him a color pallet and feel. However, according to Reeves “the structure is based on the rock formations of the Caribbean islands and the need for interesting levels and just a hint of the mystical.”
All performances are in the Nelda K. Balch Playhouse on the Kalamazoo College campus, May 20-23, 2010. Thursday’s performance begins at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday’s performances begin at 8pm, with a 2pm matinee on Sunday. Thursday night is “pay what you want.” Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, adults are $15.00, seniors are $10.00, and students (with ID) are $5.00. The box office will open one hour prior to each performance to purchase tickets and it will be festival seating (first come). For more information visit www.kzoo.edu/theatre or call (269) 337-7333.