img_0242Whether you are a fan or not, Shakespeare has somehow found a way to permeate almost every level of pop culture since his lifetime in the early 17th century.  And while almost anyone could quote the opening line to Hamlet’s famous soliloquy from Act 3, how many of us actually understand what the great poet actually was saying?

Never fear: with the Mount Saint Joseph Drama team, even those among us most illiterate in the intricacies of early modern English should be able to enjoy the playwright’s shows.  Opening November 18 and running through the weekend, Mount Saint Joseph’s rendition of The Tempest is sure to be a riveting experience for anyone.

Mount Saint Joseph’s Drama production, The Tempest, during pre-production.

The story centers on a mysterious isle inhabited by the eccentric wizard Prospero (Senior Stephen Kirby) and his idealistic daughter Miranda (Elena Rittie).  Prospero, the former Duke of Milan until his usurping by his own brother, has used his magical spells, as well as the power of his faithful sprite Ariel (Mary Langley), to arouse a storm to shipwreck the boat of the King of Naples (Senior Kyle Watson) upon his island.

In the aftermath of the eponymous tempest, the members of the King’s court – including Prospero’s mischievous brother, Antonio (Senior Alex Scott), and the King’s own shifty brother, Sebastian (Sophomore Marcellus Palmerino) – wander about the isle aimlessly, falling victim to several pranks by Prospero.

Meanwhile, a comedy of errors ensues as two of the King’s drunkard attendants, Stephano (Senior Henry O’Toole) and Trinculo (Senior Connor Hurley), join forces with Prospero’s dissatisfied slave Caliban (Senior William Hartman) to take over the island, getting more and more inebriated along the way.

On top of that, the King’s son Ferdinand (Sophomore Aaron Sutton) and Miranda might have a thing going on, adding to the fun of the show.

Mount Saint Joseph’s Drama production of The Tempest, during pre-production.

In its approximate 105 minute run, The Tempest brings the audience to a world where disbelief is indeed suspended, and in the times when things get confusing, help from various narrators between acts will get you up to speed.

With a stellar cast, a brilliant set design, and direction by the ever-popular Michael Hartsfield of the English Department, The Tempest is sure to be a Shakespeare performance you can enjoy. Performance dates are 11/18 and 11/19 at 7PM and 11/20 at 2PM.  Tickets are $8 and concessions and flower and candy grams will be available during intermissions.  Come out and see the show.

Article contributed by Connor Hurley ’18. Photos courtesy of Henry O’Toole ’18. For more information, please follow the MSJ Drama Club at @MSJDRAMATWEETS.