The Tempest: Thundering Success
Cameron University’s Department of Art, Music and Theatre Arts performed their intriguing production of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
“The Tempest” follows Prospero, a magician and the former Duke of Milan, who was stranded on an island 12 years ago, along with his daughter Miranda, by his jealous brother, Antonio.
During Prospero’s 12 years on the island, he plots revenge against Antonio and gets the chance to act on it when a ship containing Antonio passes by the island. The King of Naples, his brother and his son Prince Ferdinand are also on the ship. Prospero conjures up a storm, and the ship wrecks on the island.
The compassionate Miranda, unaware of the evils of the world as she has lived on the remote island since she was three, begs her father not to kill the passengers of the shipwreck. She meets and falls in love with Prince Ferdinand.
This play was sophomore theatre major Sierra Sorrell’s fourth as an actor in her time at Cameron, and her prior experience showed in the performance.
Sorrell shines in her role as Miranda. She portrays the character mostly through facial expressions and with the convincing innocence and naiveté in her eyes.
“I tried to put myself in a mind-set of just not knowing,” Sorrell said. “Most things my character sees in the play are new to her, so a kind of wondrous awe.”
Actor Mark Branson portrayed Prospero brilliantly. His many lines and soliloquies were spoken without a trace of doubt.
Branson never faltered nor missed a line or let the hurt and anger Prospero must have harbored for years about being betrayed by his own brother leave his eyes.
Assistant Professor of Art, Music and Theatre Arts Deidre Onishi directed the play and was satisfied with the finished product.
“I was very, very happy with the cast, crew and designers,” Onishi said. “Everyone worked very hard collaboratively on this show. It was just a really nice group effort.”
Onishi said she read “The Tempest” many times to decide how she wanted to go about directing it and every time she read it, she found something new, particularly in the love scenes between Ferdinand and Miranda.
Abigail Rinestine’s take on Ariel, a magic sprite who is bound to serve Prospero, may have been the most eye-catching performance of the production.
Rinestine’s light, comical portrayal of Ariel stole every scene she was in. Even if she was on the side of the stage while others spoke, her presence was made known to the audience.
The back-and-forth between Branson and Rinestine as Prospero commanded Ariel was entertaining, mostly on account of Rinestine’s hysterical facial expressions.
Onishi said for many students, this was their first production at Cameron. However, any rookie actors were not detectable to the audience.
Viewers laughed throughout the play at Samuel Brewer’s performance as the island creature Caliban. The strange-looking mask Brewer wore was definitely a factor of the amusement.
Onishi said she felt the chemistry between actors in this production was strong.
The casts’ chemistry was palpable to the viewers, especially between characters Caliban, Trinculo and Stephano, who shared a hilarious rapport.
Branson’s emotional last soliloquy was a perfect end to the play.
Onishi’s interpretation of “The Tempest” was romantic, emotional and comical and an overall success as a result of the hard work on the part of everyone involved.
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