Saturday, October 01, 2022

Life & Style

Music, Passion, Magic

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Free Shakespeare at Edgerton Park in New Haven is back. Past performances have included sets built in the middle of park, as shown here. This year’s performance will take place in the new Alexander Clark Playhouse, which was designed to harken back to playhouses for which these kind of plays were written. Photo courtesy of Elm Shakespeare

Free Shakespeare at Edgerton Park in New Haven is back. Past performances have included sets built in the middle of park, as shown here. This year’s performance will take place in the new Alexander Clark Playhouse, which was designed to harken back to playhouses for which these kind of plays were written. (Photo courtesy of Elm Shakespeare)

Elm Shakespeare will offer a production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest at the new Alexander Clark Playhouse, Edgerton Park, 75 Cliff Street, New Haven from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Sunday, Sept. 4, at 7:30 p.m., with no Monday performances.

The performance will be outdoors and so is ideal for picnicking with friends, family, and fellow Shakespeare-loving strangers under the stars.

There will be a sign-language interpreted performance on Thursday, Aug. 25. Listening-assistance devices and large-print scripts will be available at all performances, though in limited quantities.

According to an article in Broadway World: The New Alexander Clark Playhouse Stage was built “thanks to a generous gift by Technolutions Founder and CEO Alexander Clark. The two-story portable stage will serve as the official platform for all of Elm Shakespeare productions in 2022 and beyond. Designed by Izmir Ickbal, the stage harkens to back to the playhouses for which these plays were written.”

In The Tempest, a powerful, and much wronged, magician must find forgiveness for the sake of his daughter and the future. But the taste of power is sweet and revenge is at hand. Will love prevail? This play includes music, passion, and magic in what is often referred to as a love letter to theater itself.

Elm Shakespeare provides this synopsis of the play:

“Prospero, a sorcerer and the rightful Duke of Milan, dwells on an enchanted isle with his daughter, Miranda. Twelve years earlier, the duke’s brother, Antonio, and Alonso, the Queen of Naples, conspired to usurp his throne. They set Prospero and Miranda adrift in a boat, who eventually found themselves marooned on the island, once ruled by the banished witch Sycorax. Prospero is served on this island by Ariel, a spirit of the air imprisoned in a tree by the cruel Witch Sycorax whom Prospero freed with his magic, and Caliban, the bitter son of the long dead witch. When Prospero realizes that a ship bearing his old enemies is sailing near the island, he summons a storm to seemingly wreck their ship, and set his long planned revenge in motion.

“The court is scattered throughout the island in isolated groups, while the sailors remain safely rapt in a magical slumber. Ferdinand, the son of Alonso is dawn by the singing of Ariel to meet Miranda, who is enthralled with the young prince. But Prospero not wanting the union to be taken lightly, pretends to subjugate Ferdinand (thus ensuring Miranda’s loving defiance).

“With all of his enemies in his control and suffering, Prospero finds little joy. Through the open heart of his daughter and the grace of the spirit Ariel, Prospero discovers all the power in the world is meaningless if it only perpetuates hate. For his daughter, for his country, for himself, he must let go of the power and forgive. Emerging from his own Tempest, Prospero chooses to create rather than destroy and in so doing, gives us all a path to a better world.”


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