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William Shakespeare’s The Tempest will be performed November 11-13 in Strider Theater at Colby in a production mounted by Colby’s theater and dance department. Acted and supported by a dedicated team of 16 Colby students, The Tempest promises a magical evening of poetic language and startling spectacle.

The story of The Tempest is deceptively simple. Prospera (Kate Campbell ’05), the Duchess of Milan, has been usurped by her sister Antonia (Andrea Palmer ’05). Antonia exiles Prospera and her daughter, Miranda (Karin Shankar ’05) by putting them to sea in a leaky boat. They survive and reach an island populated by Ariel (David Cheng ’06) and other spirits, as well as Caliban (Andrew Volk ’05), the son of a witch. Using magic, Prospera enslaves Ariel and Caliban. When she has the chance to raise a storm and shipwreck her old enemies on the island, Prospera proceeds to right old wrongs, including some she has committed herself.

The Tempest is generally thought to be the last play that Shakespeare wrote by himself. As the mature work of an acknowledged master, it contains interlocking themes that have prompted broad interpretation in the four centuries since its first production, circa 1610. It is a meditation on the uses and abuses of power, both magical and dynastic, but it is also a discussion of the nature of theatrical art itself. Colby’s Tempest, through the use of non-traditional casting, has assigned male character roles to women. This is a reversal of Shakespeare’s own practice; in his theater, all roles were played by men and boys.

The Tempest is suitable for families with mature children. General admission is $3; students and seniors are $2. For ticket information call the box office at 872-3358 between 5 and 7:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday the week of the performance. Or call 872-3388 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information on upcoming productions visit the theater and dance Web site at
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