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Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'

Ivy Bekker
03/24/2011
The Monmouth College Crimson Masque will present Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and April 10 at 2 p.m at the historic Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg.

Ticket prices are $5 for MC faculty and staff members and individuals with any student ID and $15 to $25 for all other tickets. Tickets may be purchased online at www.theorpheum.org or by calling the Orpheum box office at 309-342-2299. The production is part of the Orpheum’s Red Carpet Series, as well as its education outreach program.

Shakespeare’s last and arguably most popular masterpiece, “The Tempest” is a tragi-comedy, as rich in dreamlike strangeness and mysticism as it is in wit. Sorcerer Prospero (played by theatre professor Bill Wallace) and his daughter Miranda (sophomore Shelby Courtois of Farmington) have been stranded for 12 years on an enchanted island with Prospero’s reluctant servant, Ariel (sophomore Mike Carioto of Worth), and the monstrous Caliban (junior Jason Roepke of Oak Lawn). When Prospero’s power forces a ship carrying his enemies to flounder on the shore, this unrivaled story of vengeance and magic takes off on a serpentine path that ends with the poignant triumph of forgiveness.

The production will be directed by assistant professor of theatre Janeve West, who noted that the 400th anniversary of the first production of “The Tempest” will occur later this year on Nov. 1.

In addition to a special venue for the performances, several other newsworthy items are surrounding the show, according to West.

“The theatre I want to create does not exist in a void but rather reaches across many disciplines and pulls together many ideas,” she said.

Both the buildup to the production and the show itself will be a collaborative effort among students in the departments of English, classics, music, art, public relations, and mathematics and computer science.

Art department lecturer Stephanie Baugh created “Tempest”-inspired art that was featured in the “Collaborations” exhibit on campus earlier this year. Her husband, assistant professor art Brian Baugh, created two musical instruments that will be used in the production.

Performing during the production will be a trio composed of MC music lecturer Julia Andrews, award-winning international composer Dirk Stromberg and Connor Shields, a sophomore art major from Naperville. Shields will play a diddly-bow that he created during last year’s Summer Opportunities for Intellectual Activity (SOFIA) program. The trio will create a live, improvised score for the performances with the help of artificial intelligence computer software.

Stromberg, who will be visiting from Singapore, will also lead workshops for MC students and the campus community. The workshops will be specifically geared toward individuals interested in music technology and mathematics or computer science.

“The Tempest” will also be part of the college’s celebration of Contemporary Arts Week. Although the Bard wrote the play in 1610 or 1611, it does tie into some contemporary works.

On April 3, Nonsemble 6, a musical group from California, will premiere new work composed by Stromberg in a concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Dahl Chapel and Auditorium. The group includes Ann Suda, daughter of MC faculty members David and Carolyn Suda. Associate professor of music Ian Moschenross will also perform Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 2, commonly known as “The Tempest.”

A pre-show discussion on April 9 at 2 p.m. will feature associate professor of English Marlo Belschner, assistant professor of classics Nick Dobson and emeritus professor of theatre Jim De Young. There will also be a lobby display created by students in MC’s courses in theatre history and Shakespeare. More student work will be showcased during the performances, including set design by senior Nick Munson of Moline and giant puppets designed and created by senior Sarah Kindt of Bolingbrook and juniors Abby Davis of Springfield and Ivy Bekker of Bloomington. Kindt also did costume design for many of the characters.