THE TEMPEST Coming to Shakespeare & Company's New Outdoor Theatre
Likely the final piece that the Bard penned alone, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, a betrayed duke and magician bent on justice and revenge until he sees, through his daughter, the power of love and forgiveness. The events of the story unfold amidst the elements of the island, a perfect fit for a Berkshire evening in the open air of the Roman Garden Theatre.
The Tempest, Directed by Allyn Burrows, the Company's newly appointed Artistic Director, will run in this newly constructed outdoor venue at dusk from August 10 through September 3.
"Envy, betrayal, and exile are transformed into self-exploration, forgiveness and wonder in this towering classic," said Burrows. "When told simply and eloquently by nine actors in an intimate outdoor setting at sunset, this story can be strikingly powerful. "
Burrows' Tempest marks the inaugural production in the new Roman Garden Theatre and features long-time Shakespeare & Company actors Nigel Gore and Jason Asprey, alongside Thomas Brazzle, Deaon Griffin-Presley, Tamara Hickey, Ella Loudon, Josh Aaron McCabe, Bella Merlin, and Mark Zeisler. The creative team includes Jim Youngerman (set designer), Govane Lohbauer (costume designer), and Arshan Gailus (sound designer).
Burrows invites audiences "to enjoy a genuine Berkshire theatrical experience under the evening sky in our new Roman Garden Theatre, an intimate outdoor performance space with comfortable seating, located in the Shakespeare Garden, adjacent to the Tina Packer Playhouse."
The Tempest will be performed in-the-round at dusk, tickets are available online at shakespeare.org, or by calling Shakespeare & Company's box office at (413) 637-3353. The Roman Garden Theatre is a new outdoor venue and is wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. This production is generously sponsored by The Dr. Gerald and Roberta Friedman Foundation.
About Allyn Burrows
(Director) Nineteenth season (Artistic Director; Alan, God of Carnage; Actor, T.S. Eliot and his Love of Shakespeare). S&Co: Or, King John, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV Pt 1, Measure for Measure, Betrayal, The House of Mirth, Love's Labours Lost, Macbeth, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). As Artistic Director of Actors' Shakespeare Project, Allyn directed productions of Romeo & Juliet, Pericles, Jon Lipsky's Living in Exile, Richard II, and The Tempest, and performances there included The Winter's Tale, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VIII, Twelfth Night, King Lear, and Richard III. He recently performed in Can You Forgive Her (Huntington Theatre), Breaking the Code (Underground Railway Theatre), Shipwrecked (The Lyric Stage), Oceanside, The Seafarer, Pursuit of Happiness, and The Homecoming (Merrimack Repertory Theater), and Five by Tenn (Speakeasy Stage). The 2006 Elliot Norton Award recipient for The Homecoming, King Lear, and Five by Tenn, Allyn also received the 2011 IRNE Award for Breaking the Code. Off-Broadway credits include Bug, Killer Joe, Louis Slotin Sonata, Closetland, and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd. He has worked regionally at The Actors' Theatre of Louisville, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Denver Center, and The Walnut St. Theatre. Television credits include The Broad Squad, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Against the Law, and on film in The Company Men, Julie & Julia, and Manchester by the Sea.
About William Shakespeare
(Playwright, Cymbeline, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream). He was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. His works, including some collaborations, consist of about 37 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
The Tempest Plot Summary:
The play opens in the midst of a storm, as a ship containing the king and his attendants struggles to stay afloat. On land Prospero, exiled Duke, who conjures the storm with his magic, while his daughter, Miranda, watches the storm overtake the ship. On the island we are introduced to a sprite, Ariel, who had been imprisoned by an evil witch, and the uncivilized Caliban who is enslaved by Prospero. Soon the royal party is washed ashore on the magical island, forced to conquer the darkness of the unknown and transcend their traditional roles as Prospero seeks his revenge. Meanwhile, Miranda meets Ferdinand, Prince of Naples, and the pair swiftly fall in love and plan to marry. Prospero plots to reinstate his Dukedom, Ariel and Caliban pursue freedom, and the shipwrecked crew fight for their survival on this island engulfed in magic and chaos.
About Shakespeare & Company
Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to Shakespeare & Company's internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and nationally renowned and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.
Pictured: Nigel Gore. Photo by Olivia Winslow.