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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: February ::
Tempest on Film
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0388  Friday, 25 February 2005

[1]     From:   Jack Heller <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 13:18:36 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0376 Tempest on Film

[2]     From:   M Yawney <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 11:48:02 -0800 (PST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0376 Tempest on Film

[3]     From:   Susan St. John <
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        Date:   Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 19:18:15 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0376 Tempest on Film


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jack Heller <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 13:18:36 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 16.0376 Tempest on Film
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0376 Tempest on Film

 >Thus my question is has any one ever seen a completely successful
 >performance of the Tempest; one that works all the way through?
 >
 >For a play about putting on shows, it occurs to me that it is a show
 >that is awfully difficult to put on.

This reminds me of my recent question on Measure for Measure. I haven't
seen a Tempest that I would say was completely successful; however, none
that I have seen have induced misery either. Most memorable was a
performance in the Germantown Park in Columbus, Ohio in the summer of
2001. A storm was brewing in the area without ever getting to the park
itself. Lightning was flashing in the distance. A drunk had to be
removed from the audience. Some youths on bicycles were boisterous
around the perimeter. And I even remember much of the performance. I
enjoyed it, maybe with all of this, rather than in spite of all of this.

Heller

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           M Yawney <
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 >
Date:           Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 11:48:02 -0800 (PST)
Subject: 16.0376 Tempest on Film
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0376 Tempest on Film

Kristen McDermott recommends a segment of PBS' "Behind the Scenes,"
which features a portion of Julie Taymor's production for Theater for
New Audiences. I second her recommendation since this production was one
of the finest Shakespearean productions I have ever seen.

McDermott goes on to credit Taymor with a Broadway production of The
Tempest with Patrick Stewart, but this is mistaken. Patrick Stewart did
appear on Broadway in a Tempest directed by George C. Wolfe, but Taymor
had nothing to do with this production.

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Susan St. John <
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Date:           Thursday, 24 Feb 2005 19:18:15 -0700
Subject: 16.0376 Tempest on Film
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0376 Tempest on Film

Thanks for all the great suggestions...I could never have found these
all on my own.

But since Susanne Collier asked:

 >my question is has any one ever seen a completely successful
 >performance of the Tempest; one that works all the way through?

I was IN a wonderful production in Phoenix, AZ several years ago
produced by an avante garde theatre company (Planet Earth Theatre) - we
had a mostly female cast (Prospero, Trinculo, Sebastian, Caliban, and
the brother were male - everyone else, including Ferdinand was played by
a woman.  I was King Alonzo).  Our production was quite theatrical
including an original soundtrack and an eclectic time period.  I believe
that it was our willlingness to go out on a limb with casting that
allowed us to go overboard (no pun intended) on the 'showiness' of the play.

It's hard to be objective when you are in a show but you generally have
a sense of how well it's going and this felt like a very successful and
well received production.  Now that I think about it, I should see if
the producers made a video recording of that production :-)

And just as a side note, the very first Shakes I ever saw was The
Tempest when I was about 8; my parents had seen it and thought so highly
of it that they sent my brother and I to see it the next night.  There I
was in the 2nd row, with only my 12 year old brother as companion, and a
shipwreck that reached out over the audience...I was mesmerized.  I
don't remember anything else about the production, but I know it's why I
love Shakespeare today...probably why I'm a director and a drama teacher
too!  Trying to recreate that experience!

Susan St. John

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