Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Tempest

This year, the Dream In High Park features "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare.

Brilliant casting! The sorcerer Prospero is instead a powerful sorceress, and his usurping brother Antonio is also recast as a female. Seeing the Tempest with such powerful female characters was refreshing and 'cast' a whole different light on the production, restaging the balance of power between the sexes.

The cast is wonderfully racially diverse as well, with Prospera and Ariel played by black women with a commanding presence.

Ariel takes on a whole different dimension for me in this production... rather than a separate sprite, she embodies the power of feminine spirit rather than a servant, separate to self. I'm not sure if this was the casting director's intention but it was certainly my experience.

The night we were there, the drunken fools Stephano and Trinculo actually got guffaws from the audience, they played their parts so well. Caliban was also nicely portrayed. He's always been one of my favourites, mired as he is in his animal desires.

Rob and I brought some wine & cheese, along with comfy blankets to sit on, and thoroughly enjoyed the performance - along with 600+ other audience members. Outdoors with a simple stage, this is a wonderful setting to experience the play.

Still packing houses, still relevant, still brilliant, even after 400 years.

Sue Miner directed and Dora award-winning actress Karen Robinson plays Prospera. Pay what you can until September 6.

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