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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell theatre program presents 100th show: The Tempest by William Shakespeare
DATE: Oct. 16, 2009

     The Tempest, opening Oct. 28, will be the 100th show of the theatre program since it began in the fall of 1988.

     The Tempest is Shakespeare’s final masterpiece and many see in it the great playwright’s summing up of his life in the theatre, and in the central character, the scholar/magician Prospero, perhaps the hint of a self portrait.

     For 12 years Prospero and his daughter Miranda, now almost 15, have been marooned on an enchanted island, attended only by Prospero’s servant the spirit Ariel, and his slave the deformed creature called Caliban. The tempest of the title tosses ashore all Prospero’s former enemies and it is up to him to use his magic powers either for vengeance or forgiveness. In the end, reconciliation triumphs over revenge. A magical wedding unites a prince and princess and binds former enemies together and Prospero renounces his magic powers and prepares to return to the ordinary world. But as always with Shakespeare there are no simple happy endings, evil does not always repent, and the future remains uncertain at best.

     The Tempest is Shakespeare’s most musical play and a special feature of this production is a magical “Celtic” score composed by the legendary Pamela Morgan and Figgy Duff. Ms. Morgan will perform live on stage accompanied by two other outstanding Newfoundland musicians, the award-winning Bill Brennan and Daniel Payne.

     The demanding role of Prospero will be played by distinguished Canadian film and stage actor Dermot Hennelly who is currently artist-in-residence and master teacher with the theatre program.

     Guest performers include our other visiting artist, Peter Van Gestel, as Alonso (Peter was a Hobbit in the original Toronto production of Lord of the Rings) and as the wise old Gonzalo we welcome back long time friend of the theatre program, Dr. Martin Ware. The student actors in the production come from all four years of the program.

     Costume design for The Tempest is by resident designer Carol Nelson and lighting design is by guest artist and visiting designer Renate Pohl. The Tempest is directed and designed by Ken Livingstone as his last production before stepping down as head of the Division of Fine Arts.

     The Tempest will run nightly from Wednesday, October 28 through Saturday, October 31 at 8:00 p.m. in the School of Fine Arts Theatre. Tickets are available at the College Bookstore or at the Box Office on the evening of each performance. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

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