William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest:” The Theatre Arts Program’s Latest Production

Patrick Robinson, who plays Prospero, running lines in preparation for opening night. Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart Theater Arts Program Instagram page.
Patrick Robinson, who plays Prospero, running lines in preparation for opening night. Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart Theater Arts Program Instagram page.

By Julianna Mauriello

Arts & Entertainment Editor

On Thursday, Nov. 17 Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts Program will open its doors to its main stage production of “The Tempest,” by William Shakespeare.

Students acting in the production have been in preparation and rehearsal for many weeks in order to get the show ready for an audience.

“The Tempest,” like most Shakespearean plays, has multiple intertwining plotlines and manages to demonstrate the human capacity for malice, redemption and love.

“The theme of this show, like most Shakespeare works, is love. However, rather than being romantic love, the story is that of sacrifice,” said junior Sean Whelan.

The plot of this show follows the characters as they are stranded on a remote island. The Duke of Milan, Prospero, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful position using his wit and magic. Prospero uses his magic to summon a storm that would result in the arrival of his usurping brother Antonio and King Alonso of Naples to the remote island.

Though the plot can be summarized by basic themes and character plots, every character plays a vital role in the way the storyline plays out due to the plots intertwining.

“My character Sebastian is the younger brother of Alonso, who is the King of Naples. He is one of the sinful men who badly wronged the main character Prospero and must now face his past as it comes back to haunt him,” said Whelan. “Meanwhile, he and Antonio, Prospero’s brother, are also scheming to overthrow Prospero to take the thrown for themselves.”

Since Shakespeare characters and plays have multiple layers to be untangled, the cast had to rehearse and really study their roles.

“The cool thing about Shakespeare’s writing is how nothing is ever wasted. Every line, word and even every mark of punctuation has meaning behind it and gives the actor clues on what to do in each scene,” said Whelan.

Cast members also look forward to the audience seeing the hard work they’ve put into the production.

“The rehearsal process has been very professional, yet fun and eye-opening,” said senior Elise Bean. “I am honored to work with such dedicated and talented individuals and I can’t wait to see where we end up come opening night.”

Members of the production hope that other students on campus will be open-minded to the Shakespearean tale, though it may be tough to follow.

“I have always found Shakespeare’s writing to be complex and entertaining, I’m really intrigued to see how the students in the Theater Arts Program depict this story,” said senior Emily Murphy.

Students also view the play as being more interesting on stage.

“The reason people don’t often understand Shakespeare in class is because his work was not meant to be read, it was meant to be performed,” said Whelan. “When it is up on a stage and you can add infliction to the lines along with physical movement, it becomes much more clear to follow.”

“The Tempest” will run from Nov. 17-20 in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts. For more information on show times and ticket prices, visit edgertoncenter.org

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