June 29, 2009
WVU Parkersburg Theatre Department to present "The Tempest."
CONTACT: Jeffrey Byrd, Theatre Department coordinator, 304-424-8295.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Theatre Department of West Virginia University at Parkersburg will present William Shakespeare’s "The Tempest" July 7-12 as part of its annual Outdoor Shakespeare Festival.
Performances are at 8 p.m., July 7 through the 11th in the college’s outdoor amphitheatre, located behind the main campus building, and 2 p.m., July 12, in the College Theatre (Room 1305). All performances are free and open to the public.
In the case of a real tempest, the outdoor productions will move to the College Theatre. The play is appropriate for all ages.
Critically recognized as Shakespeare’s final play, "The Tempest" concerns Prospero, the wronged Duke of Milan, and his daughter, the admirable Miranda, who have been stranded on a desert island because of a political coup brought about by Prospero’s brother Antonio; Alonzo, the King of Naples, and Alonzo’s brother Sebastian. When opportunity presents itself, the aged Prospero, a wizard, manipulates his magic and his several airy spirits, including the “moody” Ariel, to restore himself to his rightful dukedom. He does this to return Miranda to society and save her from that “thing of darkness,” Caliban, a savage and deformed miscreant of the isle.
Director Andrew Clovis describes the play as “a powerful work, full of humor, which explores themes of art, illusion, honesty, forgiveness and fitness of rule.”
"This is a novel staging which tries to evoke the themes inherent in the play without editorializing on them,” he noted.
The cast is comprised of several WVU Parkersburg students and community members. David Scheimann plays the venerable Prospero. Eighteen-year-old Barbara Paul portrays his lovely daughter Miranda. WVU Parkersburg student Tom Reckard enacts the savage Caliban who teams up with the drunken fools, Stephano, played by Andrew Kramer, and Trinculo, portrayed by WVU Parkersburg student Katie Rowley, to overthrow Prospero. The villainous Antonio is played as Antonia by Emily Paul, another WVU Parkersburg student. She is joined by WVU Parkersburg student Cory Carr as Sebastian and Matt Devore, a WVU Parkersburg alumnus, as King Alonzo. Rounding out the court are Emily Decker, another WVU Parkersburg alumna, as “the good old lord Gonzalo”; Kurtis Decker, a sophomore at WVU Parkersburg, as the young lord Adrian, and Dayton Willison, a theatre major from Ohio University, as the sycophantic Francisco. WVU Parkersburg student Jared Van Fossen plays Ferdinand, the King’s son who is thought lost but surfaces to become the love of the beautiful Miranda. Robert Decker portrays the volatile Boatswain. The airy spirit Ariel is played by Barbi Grizer and Scarlett Sheppard, who is new to the WVU Parkersburg stage. Grizer and Sheppard split the performances. Other airy spirits include Rachel Polan as the Goddess Iris, and Donna Riley as the Goddess Juno. Finishing out the cast are Kelee Hartleroad, Quinn Hartleroad, and Eileen Paul, as dancing Nymphs; Ben Bowers, Billy Grizer, and Brad Grizer, as the Reapers; and Paige Green, Brian Paul, David Paul, Mary Paul and Phillip Paul, as mischievous Imps who help further Prospero’s cause.
In addition to Clovis, other crew members include Liz Adkins as choreographer; Brenna Decker as book-holder and poster designer; Patrick Garvey as technical director; Susan Kelby as musical director; costume assistants Marilyn Chalfant and Dayton Willison, and Jeff Byrd as lighting designer and producer.
Additional information is available by calling the Theatre Department at 304 424-8295.