Friday, March 22, 2013

Tempest (no teapot)

I just finished a run of The Tempest at BYU-Idaho a couple of weeks ago. It was a great experience...I made some new friends, strengthened old friendships, got to work with different people, and learned more about acting and Shakespeare.

The technical aspects of the show were super awesome...set, lighting, sound, etc. It was a tech-heavy show, so tech week presented a few challenges, but man, was it worth it. Check it out:

The set was inspired by the film sets of early film pioneer Georges Melies:

Lots of fantasy color, a cave opening, etc:

Also note the climbing wall, and a cool cave door with a hidden bookshelf and magical purple crystals! I actually had no idea the crystals were in there until photo call. The cave opening also served as a screen for shadow puppetry (you can see the sailboat in the bottom left picture). And the shadow puppetry was one of the COOLEST parts of the show:

There was also a lot of epic cloak twirling in this show, which I was unaware of until I saw the production photos:

Plus, the shipwreck was awesome...there were 5 girls playing the role of Ariel, and they used a rope to create the shape of the ship, and there was shadow puppetry, and lightning and thunder, and choreographed surges and it was awesome. It took us until about the fifth performance to really get that scene down, and it was really hard to pretend to be tossed and pitched in a skirt and three inch heels and carrying a cane, but it was awesome. I'm totally stealing this idea if ever I direct The Tempest.

And, this is the best wig I've ever worn in a show, maybe second only to the one I wore in Our Town.

The picture doesn't do it justice. It was so awesome. I think I liked it more than the one from Our Town because it took way less work. (I was also gonna post a picture of my wig from Our Town, but when I couldn't find one within about 10 minutes, I got overwhelmed and gave up.)

I didn't have a huge role, so each night backstage was spent in graphic design, reading, grading papers, or just chatting quietly in the greenroom. During one of these chats, a handful of us came up with The Muppet Tempest, starring all your favorite Jim Henson characters. Here's our cast list:

Prospero: sorcerer and ruler of the desert island. Displaced from Italy by his evil brother Antonio.
Sam the eagle

Miranda: Prospero's lovely teenage daughter, who falls in love with King Alonso's son Ferdinand
Miss Piggy

Ferdinand: the King's son

Gonzalo: a wise old counselor, part of King Alonso's entourage
Rowlph the Dog

Antonio: Prospero's evil brother, part of King Alonso's entourage

Sebastian: King Alonso's dodgy brother, conspirator with Antonio

King Alonso: Ruler of Naples, worked out a deal with Antonio years ago to get rid of Prospero

Stephano: A drunken sailor

Trinculo: A drunken clown
Pepe the King Prawn

Caliban: a "savage and deformed slave," left on the island by his witch mother, now servant to Prospero

Bosun: A sailor

Additional sailors:
Dr. Melon, members of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem

Master: Ship's captain
Swedish chef

Ariel: A fairy spirit that serves Prospero

Special guests: Elton John, Tim Curry

We actually don't know who Elton John and Tim Curry will play, we just thought they should be involved. There was lots of debate about some of, Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn could actually switch roles.

We also cast the ship's crew the way we did because of how hilariously unintelligible the shipwreck scene would be.

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