The Tempest

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Geoff Elliott & Julia Rodriguez-Elliott

Sept 7 – Nov 22, 2014

Production Sponsor: Patricia Hoppe

 

Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

“Fine performances. . .fascinating.” – Frances Baum Nicholson, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
“Magical.” – Frances Baum Nicholson, San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
“Visually compelling.” – Pop Culture Beast
“Haunting. . .evocative.” – Don Shirley, LAObserved.com

BEFORE THE START of the play, Antonio and King Alonso attempt to kill Prospero—Antonio’s brother and the rightful Duke of Milan—and his daughter, Miranda, by deserting them in a boat in the middle of the ocean. The King’s counselor, Gonzalo, secretly fills the boat with food, water, clothing, and Prospero’s magic books. Prospero and Miranda survive, but they remain stranded on a remote island for the next twelve years.

The play opens on the King’s ship, which is caught in a great storm at sea. Despite the best efforts of the crew, the boat is torn in two by the tempest. Antonio, Gonzalo, King Alonso, Prince Ferdinand, and Alonso’s brother Sebastian fall into the ocean. The storm is caused by sorcery rather than nature, and the sorcerer is none other than Prospero, who reveals to his now fifteen-year-old daughter Miranda that Antonio usurped his former duchy—and that Miranda is a princess. Prospero plans to exact revenge against his brother, but promises Miranda that nobody was killed by his storm—instead, he scattered the group around the island.

King Alonso is separated from his son and fears that Ferdinand is dead. The King, Antonio, Sebastian, and the King’s men soon begin their search for the Prince. Secretly, Antonio and Sebastian plot to kill Alonso, so that Sebastian can become King.

Prince Ferdinand’s grief for his “lost” family is cut short when he meets Miranda and promptly falls in love with her. Prospero declares Ferdinand a traitor, and makes the Prince his servant. Ferdinand is happy to do the labor, because allows him to get closer to Miranda. The second time the two meet, Ferdinand learns Miranda’s name and promptly swears his love and desire to marry her. Miranda declares she loves Ferdinand as well, despite the fact he is the third man she has ever met (the first being her father, and the second being Caliban—the ugly child of a witch and the Devil—and her father’s servant). Prospero approves of Ferdinand’s proposal of marriage to Miranda, and declares he only made the Prince a servant in order to test his love for his daughter.

Caliban discovers the King’s butler, Stephano, and jester, Trinculo, drinking on the shore. Caliban gets drunk with them and pledges his servitude to Stephano. Together they plot to kill Prospero in order to rule the island. Ariel, Prospero’s beautiful spirit servant, lures the three drunk men with music into a foul-smelling, muck-filled pit to wait for Prospero’s punishment. The trio escape the pit and continue their quest to murder Prospero. After Prospero’s hounds chase away the schemers, Caliban asks for Prospero’s forgiveness, and declares he will work to earn Prospero’s trust again.
King Alonso and his search party grow weary and assume that the ocean has swallowed Ferdinand. Fairy spirits set up a banquet for the crew, who are too exhausted and hungry to suspect mischief. Before anyone can eat a bite, Ariel appears disguised as a harpy with Prospero’s magic. Ariel declares that Prince Ferdinand was swallowed by the sea as retribution for King Alonso’s wickedness to Prospero twelve years ago. The “harpy” continues to say that there are “three men of sin” at the table—causing Alonso to repent for his part in the plot to kill Prospero. Antonio and Sebastian continue planning the King’s murder.

Prospero finally goes to meet the King and his men, whereupon Alonso apologizes and restores the proper title of Duke of Milan to Prospero. Prospero pretends to commiserate with the King about the pain of losing a child, before revealing that Miranda and Prince Ferdinand are both alive and in love.Prospero decides to throw his spell-filled books into the ocean and destroy his magic staff. He says he will explain how everything occurred eventually, and that he will start telling his life story that very night. The next morning, everyone will leave for Naples to attend Ferdinand and Miranda’s wedding. Prospero asks Ariel to make sure the ships arrive safely in Naples, and grants her freedom.

In his final soliloquy, Prospero asks the audience to set him free from the island by filling his ships’ sails with applause.