Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Tempest Blows Through

Matt Shumaker as Stephano (using an instrument made for the play)

 Last weekend  (April 9-10) the Monmouth College Theatre Department presented William Shakespeare's The Tempest at the Orpheum Theatre in Galesburg, IL.  Faculty member Bill Wallace anchored the cast as Prospero, but this was an effort that truly allowed many to shine.  First kudos to Nick Munson the student scene designer and then to all of Prof. Doug Rankin's technical staff for a rousing storm complete with parachute sails wafting off to the ceiling over the audience's heads.  Student acting honors go to Matt Shumaker's hilarious antics as Stephano, the principle clown, though the languid grace of Mike Carioto as Ariel also deserves mention.  Challenging modern music played live by Guest artist Dirk Stromberg, Music Professor Julia Andrews, and student Connor Shields added another layer of complexity to the performance.  Holding it all together was director Janeve West who gave us an ever moving and highly physical production.  Yours truly was honored to be included as one of the guest speakers at a Tempest Seminar on the Saturday afternoon before the show opened as well.

A lively and informative look at the music composed for the play was presented on Wed. April 13th at OFTA's (Old Friends Talk Arts) regular meeting.  This was anchored by Brian Baugh of the Art Department who made some of the instruments featured in the production.

Brian Baugh talking to OFTA

Connor Shields demonstrates one of the instuments constructed for the play.

Janeve West, Director of The Tempest, talking about the music for The Tempest at OFTA

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