Directed by Davis McCallum

The Acting Company presented, in our 2007/08 season, The Tempest, a play of enduring enchantment, is one of the richest treasures found in drama. 

Shakespeare's magical last play, his poignant farewell to the stage, has love, tragedy and comedy combined in equal measure. The usurped wizard, Prospero, draws his enemies to his enchanted island to exact revenge yet, ultimately, finds peace and the ability to forgive.  Hailed as a stunning climax to the career of England’s favorite dramatist, The Tempest is a play praising the glories of reconciliation and forgiveness. Some believe that Prospero’s final speeches signify Shakespeare’s personal adieu from the stage.

The Tempest has something for everyone: comedy, revenge, attempted murder and a love story – all controlled by a philosopher/magician. And it plays out, like today’s reality shows so popular with students (like Lost or Survivor) against the backdrop of groups of island castaways. However, supporting the story is some of Shakespeare’s most beautiful, transcendent, and emotional language. If we can hook the young with the story, we can show them how the language is the necessary vessel to transport them there.

Selected for its theme of reconciliation, The Tempest is an excellent introduction to Shakespeare for young and new theatergoers and a reminder of Shakespeare’s most beautiful use of language for those more seasoned. This theme of reconciliation needs to be heard by every generation. As we are able to overcome the boundaries of reality, like Prospero, through learning and magic (in our era, the explosion of technology is an apt analogy), we may forget the relationships that are supposed to be central to our lives. The Tempest reminds us that it is never too late to re-form broken relationships through forgiveness. 

Appearing in photos: Christopher Oden, Kelley Curran, Victoire Charles, Michael Stewart Allen, David Foubert, Tomothy Sekk, Rob Martinez, Seth Duerr. Photos by James Culp.