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Elm Shakespeare Company to Return To Edgerton Park With Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST in August

The Tempest follows Prospero, who, twelve years ago, was Duke of Milan. Now, he rules a distant island, inhabited by a witch's son and a spirit.

Elm Shakespeare Company to Return To Edgerton Park With Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST in August

Following a two-year hiatus, Elm Shakespeare Company will return to Edgerton Park for the 2022 Season with Shakespeare's The Tempest. Producing Artistic Director, Rebecca Goodheart, returns to direct the production which features nationally acclaimed actor and Artistic Director of African American Shakespeare Company, L. Peter Callender in the role of the wizard, Prospero.

"O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O, brave new world, that has such people in't!" - Miranda, Act 5, Scene 1

Twelve years ago, Prospero was Duke of Milan. Now, he rules a distant island, inhabited by a witch's son and a spirit. His daughter Miranda has grown up seeing no other human being. Divining that fortune has brought the enemies who overthrew him close to the island, Prospero sees an opportunity to work his revenge, and uses his magical powers to raise a storm which shipwrecks them. But, through the open heart of his daughter and the grace of the spirit Ariel, Prospero discovers all the power in the world is meaningless if it only perpetuates hate. For his daughter, for his country, for himself - he must let go of the power and forgive.

Director Rebecca Goodheart found a powerful modern message in the 411-year-old story as we begin returning to public life in a nation disrupted by political turmoil and forever changed by Covid-19. "In today's world full of division and struggling with justice, this play offers hope. How do we find a way through the unquestionable wrongs that others have done? How do we manage our own-often justified-anger and hurt? What must we do to settle the past, for our children to have a chance in the world? How do we find reconciliation?"

This summer, the company is debuting a new portable playhouse stage in Edgerton Park: The New Alexander Clark Playhouse Stage marks a new era in the company's 27-year history of outdoor Shakespeare.

Elm Shakespeare continues their commitment to bridging professional theater and grassroots Shakespeare with The Tempest, boasting a cast that ranges from internationally acclaimed talent to local New Haven youth. For the first time, students and professors of the Yale School of Drama will lend their talents both on- and off-stage. And four members of Elm's Scholars Apprentice Program will be making their debut alongside L. Peter Callender, Lisa Wolpe, and the rest of the professional company.

Those familiar with watching Elm Shakespeare's elaborate sets take shape in Edgerton Park from scratch each summer will also notice something else making its debut this season: The New Alexander Clark Playhouse Stage. Thanks to a generous gift by Technolutions Founder and CEO Alexander Clark, the two-story portable stage will serve as the official platform for all of Elm Shakespeare productions in 2022 and beyond. Designed by Izmir Ickbal, the stage harkens to back to the playhouses for which these plays were written. Though structured like an Elizabethan theatre, the Clark Stage sports a very modern aluminum understructure and an eclectic hard-wood design, which highlights the natural beauty of the park. Goodheart believes the combination of influences will connect both actors and audiences to the past in service of her mission of bringing Shakespeare to the present. "A bare stage transforms again and again, from a ravishing shipwreck, to a dangerous forest feast, to a wedding banquet filled with dancing deities," Goodheart says, highlighting the new playhouse's versatility. "It's about the magic of our imagination and it will be a glorious celebration of outdoor theatre."

Summer Performances will run Thursday, August 18th through Sunday, September 4th, Tuesday - Sunday at 7:30pm in Edgerton Park in New Haven located at 75 Cliff Street. The performance on Thursday, August 25th will be sign-interpreted. A limited number of listening-assistance devices and large-print scripts will be available at all performances. As always, the performances will be free to the public and picnicking prior to the performance is encouraged.

More information can be found on the Elm Shakespeare Company website:®id=60&

About the Director

Rebecca Goodheart has been a director, actor, and teacher specializing in Shakespeare and Voice for over 25 years. She is a designated Linklater Voice teacher who has directed over 30 professional and 50 educational productions. She is a proud lifetime member of the Shakespeare Theater Association and has worked with a dozen Shakespeare theaters around the world, including as Director of Training at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Producing Artistic Director for Maryland Shakespeare Festival (an equity theater she founded in 1999), Artistic Director of the Metawhateverphor Theater in NYC, and Director of Education for Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. She is a classical text and voice teacher at Shakespeare & Co. in Massachusetts and adjunct faculty at Southern CT State University. She holds a BFA from NYU/Stella Adler Conservatory, a Master of Letters in Shakespeare & Renaissance Literature, and an MFA in Directing (both from the American Shakespeare Center). She is a published scholar known for her research into physicalizing Shakespeare's wit and rhetoric onstage and is currently co-authoring a book on the Tudor Worldview for theatremakers.

About Elm Shakespeare Company

Founded in 1995, Elm Shakespeare Company is a premiere theater company known for producing outstanding theater and educational programs that enrich the lives of people from widely diverse cultural, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds. Our performances engage people from near and far. Our theater and educational outreach make an enduring contribution to the artistic, cultural, and economic vitality of the region.

The Elm Shakespeare Company ignites a spark in our humanity, enriches the lives of people from widely diverse backgrounds, and strengthens the artistic and educational landscape of the Greater New Haven region. We are committed to offering accessible theater and innovative educational experiences in our parks, our classrooms, and our neighborhoods.

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