CSUSB’s department of Theater Arts began its 2017-2018 season with the unforgettable production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.
The live performance ran from Friday, Nov. 10 to Sunday, Nov. 19 and took place at The Barnes Theater.
The play delivered wonderful performances, a splash of humor, drama and a dose of magic brought to life.
Terry Donovan Smith, a professor of Theater Arts, directed The Tempest.
Along with a brilliant cast and crew, the show left the audience awed from beginning to end.
The Tempest tells the story of a royal family that is left deserted after crash landing on a mysterious island.
Prospero, portrayed by Theater Arts major Isaiah Dodo-Williams, rules the land and is the rightful Duke of Naples.
He possesses a magical ability and has a loyal, airy spirit named Ariel, portrayed by fourth year student Celia Worster, who acts as his eyes and ears throughout the play.
Prospero’s intentions are to reclaim his rightful place as a lord by marrying off his beautiful daughter Miranda, portrayed by third year student Shannon Ricciardi, to one of the castaways that immediately fell for her.
The fallen castaway is Ferdinand, portrayed by fourth year student Garrett Vaughn, who is the son of Alonso, the King of Naples.
The royal family also has set plans to overthrow Prospero and take over the island.
During the story, Caliban, portrayed by Stephen Diaz, is a slave that wants to earn his place in the land and runs into two unexpected characters.
They are Stephano, the drunken butler, and Trinculo, a jester, who add the dash of humor in the tale and are portrayed by Samantha Hall and Kevin Dallas, respectively.
One of the members of the audience, Julie Diamond, first heard about the play from her friend who is a student on campus.
“I loved the story. It kept me on my toes from beginning to end. The actors that were involved, did such a good job,” said Diamond.
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright who is widely regarded as one of the greatest dramatic writers in history.
He wrote The Tempest between 1610 and 1611, and is said to be the last play that he wrote alone.
“I liked the design of the poster and the quote. That kind of convinced me to see the play,” shared Diamond.
The pamphlet that the Theater Arts department provided before start of The Tempest draws people into a state of mystery and intrigue.
The front page of the pamphlet has an incredible art design and a well-chosen quote from the script, spoken by the character of Ferdinand: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
“The special effects, lighting, and design of the set were well thought out to the last detail. Whenever Prospero would use his magic, the production crew made it come alive before my eyes. I enjoyed that a lot,” said Diamond.
Throughout the live production, there would be brief moments of singing and lighting effects that
kept the audience captivated.
“It was a bit hard to hear what they were trying to say since they used Shakespeare’s language, but I did end up getting the plot in the end. It all tied together,” shared Diamond.
What also gave her an understanding of the tale was the synopsis that was provided by the director in the last page of the pamphlet.
With the effort that the crew and students placed in the production, it was obvious to see how much passion was invested in bringing Shakespeare’s story to life for CSUSB and the community.