Monsters, magic and madrigals blow in on Dec. 7-10, 2006 for the Heritage Drama Department’s production of “The Tempest.” The last play Shakespeare wrote alone, in 1611, definitely pulls out all the stops with music, dance, and even a traditional masque, not to mention a shipwreck and storm. Heritage promises to fill the bill with full fine arts participation.
The play, thought by many scholars to be autobiographical, involves a Duke, Prospero, whose kingdom is usurped by his brother while he has been preoccupied with magical games. Prospero flees his homeland with his daughter to an island inhabited by spirits.
From there, the action accelerates with a shipwreck, search for a lost son, wedding vows and even a “fish” monster.
Written at the time of the exploration of the America’s, the play takes on the themes of colonization, slavery, and the wonders of the “New World.” The Tempest, is indeed, a timely production, given the anniversary of the founding of Jamestown in 1607.
Barbara Wilson, Heritage theatre director, has trained the students in delivery techniques and text analysis, she learned as a student at the Globe Theatre of London in the summer of 1999. Mrs. Wilson was a student of Charles Duff, current teacher, and Louis Fantasia, author of Instant Shakespeare at the Globe. She has engaged former professional Hollywood stunt man Richard Claar, to train students in stage stunts and falls for the opening shipwreck scene and other action sequences. Students have been rehearsing since the opening of school. Drama student, Luisa Casuccio will choreograph the spirits.
In addition, Heritage T.W.E.L.V.E will sing the original songs written for the play, under the direction of Nancy Riley. For your pre-show enjoyment, Heritage guitar specialist, Kevin Vigil has prepared his classes in Renaissance tunes. Heritage art students are preparing thematic artwork to coincide with the play that will be on display in the lobby.
<b1>— Barbara Wilson