Highlights from The Tempest

If you were unable to make it to one of our performances of Williams Shakespeare's The Tempest, you're in luck. The entire play is available on our YouTube channel. If you are unfamiliar with the play, please read the following synopsis, with some highlighted clips from our production. There were many many wonderful moments in the play, and you'll want to take the time to watch the whole thing.

Synopsis
Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, have been shipwrecked on an island. Prospero was once the Duke of Milan, but his brother (Antonio) betrayed him by allying himself with the King of Naples, who sentenced Prospero and Miranda (then a three year old) to be cast to sea on a tiny boat. Twelve years have gone by, and the King of Naples, his brother Sebastian, Prospero's brother Antonio, and others are returning from the King's daughter's marriage in Tunis.

Prospero seizes the opportunity, and with the help of his sprite, Ariel, summons a magnificent storm which shipwrecks the King and the others on the island. Prospero has admonished Ariel that no one should be hurt in the wreck.
Ariel, invisible to everyone except Prospero, lures Ferdinand (the King's son) to Prospero, where his daughter, Miranda, sees another man for the first time in her life.

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Antonio, Prospero's brother, convinces Sebastian (the King's brother) to kill the King. With no other siblings nearby, Sebastian will then become the King. Prospero sends Ariel to protect his good friend, Gonzalo, from their evil plot.

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Caliban is a monster of the island whom Prospero has enslaved for trying to violate the honor of his daughter, Miranda. He, along with Stephano (a drunken butler) and Trinculo (the King's jester) provide the comic relief for the play. Caliban, having drunk from Stephano's liquor, is intoxicated and convinces Stephano to kill Prospero, and become king of the island. Ariel discovers the plot, and with a song, lures the three of them through thickets and briars and into a swamp.

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King Alonso and the others have been wandering around the island, trying to find King's son, Ferdinand. Prospero commissions Ariel to take the form of a Harpy, and appear to Alonso, Sebastian, and Antonio. Ariel delivers strong condemnation to the three for their treatment of Prospero, and tells them that their only hope of surviving is to repent for what they have done to Prospero.

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Meanwhile, Prospero has been testing Ferdinand's love for Miranda, and at last agrees to let them marry. He warns Ferdinand and Miranda to remain abstinent until their wedding ceremony. Prospero then show off a bit, summoning other spirits of the island to perform for Miranda and Ferdinand.

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Ariel tells Prospero that the King and others are driven almost to madness with the guilt of what they've done. She tells him that she would certainly pity them, if she were human. Prospero is touched by their penitence, and tells Ariel to bring them to him. In one of Shakespeare's most famous speeches, Prospero reflects on all that he has accomplished, but then vows to cease his magic, break his staff, and throw his book into the ocean. Many believe that this was Shakespeare's farewell to the theater -- that he was announcing his retirement from the stage. It is entirely possible that Shakespeare himself played the role of Prospero.

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Prospero has forgiven the King and his brother for their past betrayals. He then reveals to the King that his son, Ferdinand, is not only very much alive, but also happily betrothed to his daughter Miranda. Caliban, Stephano, and Trinculo are likewise remorseful for their laughable plot on Prospero's life. Prospero has repaired the King's ship, and promises them a safe voyage back to Naples, where he expects to see Ferdinand and Miranda officially married. He also plans to tell them everything that has happened on the island since he was shipwrecked there. Finally, he sets his servant, Ariel, free.
In a wonderful Epilogue, Prospero acknowledges his loss of power, and pleads with the audience to set him free from the island with their applause.

Comments

THANK you for posting these! What an AMAZING production this appeared to be! The cast, the set, the costumes!!!! WOW! JUST WOW!!!
Karen

Can't wait to do A Christmas Carol!!!!!!