Nothing speaks summer like some Shakespeare classics on a warm summer night at the park. The Old Globe Theatre in San Diego’s Balboa Park, from June 17 to July 22, presents William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”. Their Lowell Davies Festival Theater offers the audience a beautiful outdoor space that allows the moon and a beautiful summer night’s sky to gleam down upon the audience. Lovers of Shakespeare come together in a soulful and intimate space in the most pleasing presence of immense talent.
The Tempest, by William Shakespeare,
runs June 17 – July 22, 2018 at The Old Globe. Photos by Jim Cox.
“The Tempest”, directed by Joe Dowling, the esteemed director and actor known for being the youngest-ever Artistic Director of the Ireland’s Abbey Theater in 1978, is an immense production, bringing together fantastic cast members of prestigious acting backgrounds, incredible singers with the most entertaining and enjoyable original numbers, and an overall captivating presentation of the Shakespearean play.
Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is a story about the Duke of Milan, named Prospero, who in this specific rendition of the play is a female named Prospera, The Duchess of Milan (played by Kate Burton). She is thrown out of her land and lives in exile on a desert island, after being betrayed by her abominable brother. She lives on the island in the company of her daughter Miranda and the native spirits of the land whom she is able to communicate with and has influence over due to her knowledge of the dark arts. Her only friend and supporter from her homeland, Gonzala (played by Lizan Mitchell), had given Prospera magic books before she was sent away in exile being that they are the main source of her miraculous abilities. She uses the spirits and dark magic to lure her enemies to the island, so she can have her revenge. However, she finds that her plans for revenge could be detrimental to her daughter’s happiness and their relationship, so she then must decide between carrying out her revenge or bettering her daughter’s future.
The story has a large focus on themes like love, grief, loss, isolation, revenge, distress, arrogance, betrayal, forgiveness, gratitude, and a plethora of themes that make the story the classic that it is. Although the play has such a great emphasis on negative and emotional themes, the actors, director, and playwright do a wonderful job of incorporating humor, modern references, and entertaining dialogues to keep the audience engaged. Being able to accommodate people of all backgrounds, classes, and interest into the show, is something Shakespeare’s plays are praised for, making sure that everyone is able to resonate with or love a character on the stage for who they are.
I can say that in this specific production, the characters Trinculo (played by Andrew Weems) and Stephano (played by Robert Dorfman) were the light of the theater. The audience showed a lot of love for these characters when they were on stage being that, whenever they stepped out, the audience could not help but break out in laughter and maintain smiles on their faces. Weems and Dorfman played the characters extensively well, Weems becoming the cowardly shell of a man Trinculo represents, sporting a woman’s wizard costume and crying at the horrifyingly believable sound of thunder and lightning. Then there is Dorfman, playing Stefano who becomes the drunken butler who is simply wandering the island in foolery and roaming intention, constantly breaking the fourth wall to keep the audience entertained and the mood light when necessary.
Shakespeare will always hold a place in my heart and the hearts of theatre lovers for the valued themes and esteemed language the dialogues embrace as treasure. However, as beautiful as it may be, in this case, with the beautiful production of “The Tempest” it can be difficult to fully interpret. Unless the audience has a background in Shakespeare, knowledge of the play, or has studied old English, by no means will they be able to comprehend the importance of the story. Shakespearean stories are written at a level of English that people today have lost touch with and myself, being a lover of theatre and Shakespeare still can find it challenging to keep up. Despite the fact, Dowling made sure the production was eccentric and bold keeping audiences of all ages intrigued. Furthermore, Alexander Dodge, the Scenic Designer, brought the audience onto the desert island creating a lovely scenery with the help of lighting designer, Phillip Rosenberg, and David Israel Reynoso, the Costume Designer, who brought life to the stage with vibrant and electrifying costumes that were a treat to observe.
The production team of “The Tempest” at The Old Globe possesses incredible abilities and an extensive capacity to compose a successful and extraordinary show. “The Tempest” at their Lowell Davies Festival Theatre is an experience in itself, and Shakespeare’s play being taken on by Dowling is one of the best things to have happened to it. If Shakespeare and theatre are a part of your tastes, this production is one that simply cannot be missed, so embrace the spirits and exist amongst the magical ambience of “The Tempest” in San Diego’s Balboa Park.
The cast of The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, runs June 17 – July 22, 2018
at The Old Globe. Photos by Jim Cox.
Dates: June 17 – July 22, 2018
Official Website: www.TheOldGlobe.org/TheTempest
Social Media Pages:
Bilal Mohamed | Writing Contributor
B.A | Comparative Literature | San Diego State University
Some may refer to a man of many interests as purely indecisive. However, Bilal Mohamed believes that possessing deep interests in many realms of work lay a varied foundation to build upon, preferring to refer to those of expounding curiosity as all but the most intriguing and experienced “Modern-Day Renaissance Men”. Bilal is man of many tastes and attractions. A passionate writer and performer, artist, poet, business co-owner, designer, skateboarder, Adventure Time advocate, lover of literature, mentor, and actor, (and is only working to keep this list growing). He spends his days spreading love in the beautiful city and soul-filling sun of San Diego, California, and studies Comparative Literature at San Diego State University with his head passionately buried in books. His open mind and positive attitude towards the world of the unexpected has paved his way to many opportunities, which is exactly how he was able to attain a position here writing for GeekRockTV and their wonderful website and blog. An open mind and an open heart is a simple cliché that he lives by, pouring himself into his work and appreciating all the blessings and beautiful people that come into his life. His plans for the future consist of publishing books and writing screenplays, acting in films and movies, making his way into the world of fine art, and accepting any new experience that bursts its way into his life. Instagram @bickness| View My Blogs
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