For a full summary of the somewhat complicated plot of The Tempest, please see Wikipedia. In short, we have a banished duke Prospero, here played by and referred to as a woman, stuck on an island for 12 years with her daughter Miranda and their servant Caliban. Prospero has some magical powers, aided by the spirit Ariel, and uses them to cause a shipwreck that sees her enemies land on the island. Miranda falls in love, Prospero's enemies (including her brother, now the duke) plot more destruction, and a couple of fools have a good time. In the end, Prospero decides to forgive her enemies and free her servants. That's about as feel-good as Shakespeare gets. While not a laugh out loud comedy, this is definitely lighter than Shakespeare's tragedies, and includes some familiar likes like "what's past is prologue" and "we are such stuff as dreams are made on."
|Meri Golden as Prospero|
(photo by Craig James Photography)
There's really no set to speak of, or props, save a bundle of logs. The rest comes from the actors and our imagination. Subtle lighting and sound effects to help set the tone, along with the costumes - chic rags for the islanders and a classic modern style for the visitors, with cool make-up for the creatures (lighting design by Mark Kieffer, sound design Forest Godfrey, costume design by Chelsea Wren Hanvy).
This delightful, entertaining, and accessible production of The Tempest continues through November 17 at SpringHouse Ministry Center in Uptown.
"The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance."