Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST Comes to Pittsburgh Public

Shakespeare's THE TEMPEST Comes to Pittsburgh Public

In her directorial debut here, Marya Sea Kaminski surprises with her magical and moving take on Shakespeare's classic. Starring Tamara Tunie as Prospero.

Pittsburgh Public Theater is thrilled to begin 2019 with Marya Sea Kaminski's new adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest. The play also marks Marya's directorial debut at The Public, where she has been Artistic Director since August. Starring acclaimed actress Tamara Tunie as Prospero and a company of women, The Tempest runs January 24 - February 24, 2019 at the O'Reilly Theater, Pittsburgh Public Theater's home in the heart of Downtown's Cultural District. For tickets call 412.316.1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the Box Office. The Tempest is Presented by PNC.

The Tempest begins in silence in a patient's room on the surgical oncology floor of a Pittsburgh hospital. In the bed is Prospero (Tamara Tunie), who is battling late-stage breast cancer. In Shakespeare's play Prospero is enraged because his brother and the king stole his dukedom. In Marya's version, the betrayal Prospero suffers is her family's abandonment during her illness. As Prospero begins to dream, both she and the audience are transported to a magical island where Shakespeare's story unfolds, but now with a new resonance.

After an incredible winter storm, we meet the residents of the island. Prospero's daughter Miranda (Kerry Warren), the sprite Ariel (Janelle Velasquez), the enslaved creature Caliban (Shammen McCune), and nymphs Ceres and Iris (Julia de Avilez Rocha and Emma Mercier). Shipwrecked during the storm are Prospero's deceptive sister Tonio (Rami Margron), Queen Alonso (Deena Aziz), her child Ferdinand (Rad Pereira), Alonso's sister Sebastian (Aryana Sedarati), and advisor Gonzalo (Laurie Klatscher). Also on board are the jester Trinculo (Jamie Agnello) and the clownish cook Stefano (Bethany Caputo). Members of the Pittsburgh Youth Chorus will sing and play the spirits of the island.

In addition to Marya's surprising story line, a lot happens on the island of The Tempest, much of it hilarious physical comedy and magic. But for Marya, Prospero's spiritual journey from betrayal to forgiveness is the heart of the play. Audiences will find it remarkable how well these feelings transpose from an exiled duke to a contemporary woman coming to terms with her fate. "These stories are not old and dusty," Marya says. "They are living."

The design team for The Tempest is L.B. Morse (Scenic and Projections), Nephelie Andonyadis (Costumes), Nicole Pearce (Lighting), and Andre Pluess (Sound and Original Music). Erika Chong Shuch is the Choreographer, Pamela Brusoski is the Production Stage Manager, and Phill Madore is the Assistant Stage Manager. Casting is by Pat McCorkle. Brandon J. Simmons is the Assistant Director.

Award-winning actress and Pittsburgh native Tamara Tunie was born in McKeesport and raised in Homestead. She attended Steel Valley High School and Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. Her most visible roles have been on TV, including attorney Jessica Griffin on the CBS daytime drama "As the World Turns," and medical examiner Melinda Warner on NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Recently Ms. Tunie starred in the AMC hit series "Dietland" and stars in the BBC/Netflix drama "Black Earth Rising." She has performed in nearly two dozen films, including Flight with Denzel Washington and 2018's Irreplaceable You. In theater she has worked as both performer and producer. She was awarded an Obie for her role in Familiar, appeared on Broadway in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, and produced August Wilson's Radio Golf and the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening.

SPECIAL EVENT: Dr. Angela Keleher, director of Allegheny Health Network's Division of Breast Surgery will join us for a Q&A on Sun., Jan. 27 beginning at 6 pm. The talk will be followed by a 7 pm performance of the play. Those who plan to attend will receive the special ticket price of $35 by visiting PPT.ORG and using promo code PPTAHN or calling 412.316.8200 ext. 704.

For tickets call 412.316.1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the O'Reilly Theater Box Office.

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