Mar 30, 2023
St. Bonaventure University’s theater program is presenting a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” in daily 7:30 p.m.
performances through Saturday, April 1, at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts.
“The Tempest” is a story of love, revenge and redemption, wrapped in magic. Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan and a powerful magician, rules a remote island with his daughter, Miranda, his servant spirit, Ariel, and Caliban, the offspring
of a witch. When he discovers his old enemies sailing past the island, he raises a storm and shipwrecks them. He then sets out to take his revenge, but along the way romance and forgiveness change his plans.
In the photo: Cast members in rehearsal for "The Tempest."
“Shakespeare wrote ‘The Tempest’ in 1610 or 1611. It’s likely the last play he wrote by himself,” said Dr. Ed. Simone, director of the SBU Theater program. “It’s a beautiful play with a good deal of comedy.
And, of course, there’s all the magic.”
Making much of that magic is SBU Theater’s technical director and adjunct instructor Janell Clingenpeel, who designed the production.
“Ed. adapted Shakespeare’s text so we could use gender-neutral casting, creating a contemporary wrap-around to the original story,” said Clingenpeel. “This gave us freedom to create an environment that resonates both with Shakespeare’s
magical island and our world today.”
Clingenpeel’s design uses projections to enhance the magical elements of the story, while Simone created a soundscape that supports the action.
The cast features all student actors. Cameron Carr, last seen by SBU Theater audiences in fall semester’s “Shortchanged: One Act Festival Eight,” plays Prospero. His servant sprite, Ariel, is played by Ashley Estabrook, who was also
featured in “Shortchanged.” Caitlyn Williams and Charlie Doebert make their SBU Theater debuts as Miranda, Prospero’s daughter, and Alonso, King of Naples.
Meghan Baehl plays Ferdinand, the king’s son. Baehl appeared in “American Characters” and “Shortchanged.” Joscelyn Jackson and Jesus Martinez appear in double roles: Jackson as Prospero’s evil brother, Antonio, and
the Neapolitan jester Trinculo; Martinez plays the king’s scheming brother, Sebastian, and the drunken butler, Stephano. Jackson appeared in “Shortchanged” with Martinez, who was also seen in “American Characters” and
“We Live by the Sea.”
Autumn Reed plays Gonzalo, the old counsellor to the king. Reed appeared in “American Characters” and “Shortchanged.” Bianca Billoni, seen in “American Characters,” “We Live by the Sea” and “Shortchanged,”
plays the tormented Caliban.
Members of the student company doing tech include Mickey Carneiro, a set carpenter; Josh Brill, who acted in “Shortchanged,” takes up projections and running the fly-rail; Jack Birtch, another actor from “Shortchanged,” serves
as wardrobe assistant; the previously mentioned Meghan Baehl is the assistant costumer; Emily Tiedemann serves as light board operator, as she did for “We Live by the Sea” and “Shortchanged;” and Madi Wood, who was seen in
“Shortchanged” and has been a show-runner and an ASM for SBU Theater, serves as production stage manager.
“We have a fantastic company of student actors and technicians,” Simone said. “They want to work and work hard. They want to learn how to make great theater. I love working with them and with our faculty and staff colleagues.”
Simone and Clingenpeel thanked Don Hopwood, technical director for the Quick Center, for his help and support.
“The Tempest” is Clingenpeel’s first design in the Quick Center’s Rigas Family Theater. Her previous designs for SBU Theater include costumes for “A Christmas Carol,” “Picasso at the Lapin Agile,” “Lines:
A Surrealist Vaudeville,” and production designs for “We Live by the Sea” and “Shortchanged.”
‘“The Tempest’ is a fast-paced mix of comedy, magic and romance,” Simone said. “It’s been delighting audiences for over 400 years. This new production promises to be a memorable evening of theater.”
Tickets for the play are $8 for the public and $6 for SBU employees, students and senior citizens. Free student rush seating for unsold seats is available beginning 6:30 p.m. each night, one hour before showtime. Students must claim these tickets in-person
at the box office in the Quick Center; one ticket is available per valid student ID. All seats are assigned. For information or to reserve tickets, call the box office at (716) 375-2494.
“The Tempest” runs approximately one hour and 40 minutes, is suitable for all audiences and contains brief lightning and thunder effects.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service
and citizenship. St. Bonaventure was named the #5 regional university value in the North in U.S. News and World Report’s 2022 college rankings edition.