By Randi Somers
With Clara Noomah directing, Pier One Youth will perform “The Tempest,” William Shakespeare’s last and, perhaps, strangest play, this Friday and Saturday at Pier One Theatre on the Homer Spit.
“This play has stormy themes of power, slavery and revenge and this Youth Theatre production confronts these issues head on,” Director Noomah said. “With almost two months of rehearsal, the cast has had time to explore these issues and give the play their own unique sense of humor and wonder. The result is an enchanting production that is everything from scary to funny to tender, but rarely seems 400 years old.”
A complex five-act play that is set primarily on the beach, this is a very ambitious undertaking for young people from age 9 to 16. The youngest, Annalynn Brown, plays three roles. She said this is her first Pier One play but she has performed in the Nutcracker and Jubilee.
They rehearsed some of the scenes on the beach, in costume, for photos and to get the feel of realism. Since wizards, magic, shape-changing spirits and nymphs complicate the tale, “realism” may not be the right term for the play.
“Pier One’s version of ‘The Tempest’ has a distinctly Homer feel with a large-scale set that could be any local beach,” Noomah wrote. Cast and crew gathered driftwood from Bishop’s Beach to add to the scene on the Pier One stage.
Without giving away too much of the plot, the action starts when a ship carrying a royal party of seven men to a wedding in Italy is struck by a storm and they fear they will sink. The storm was wrought by a wronged duke and wizard named Prospero, played by Emmet Meyer. The shipwrecked survivors include the noblemen who banished Prospero and his daughter Miranda (Zoe Story) twelve years before, as well as a young prince (Jonas Noomah) and an egomaniacal butler (Lindsey Schneider) with his jester sidekick (Rowyn Cunningham). The play unfolds as these characters wander the beaches and encounter two of the magical natives, Ariel (Adella Sundmark) and Caliban (Johnny Hamilton).
Parents of the performers helped create the elaborate costumes required for the play.
Noomah said this is her last year of directing and she selected this play because “I really love Shakespeare. I’m a Shakespeare geek.” She added that they had to outdo last year’s production. She will return to Williams College in Massachusetts this fall where she is studying Environmental Geosciences.
What: The Tempest
When: Aug. 19 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20, 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Where: Pier One Theatre on the Spit
Tickets: Box office and Homer Bookstore
More info: 235-7333
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