Celebrate Shakespeare's Death with "The Tempest"
Twin City Stage performers (left to right): Ryan Ball (Ferdinand), Gillian Thornton (Miranda, front), Stephanie Nusbaum (Ariel, behind), Michael Burke (Prospero), Heidi McIver (Caliban)
Photo by Kristina Ebbink
April marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. To celebrate the milestone, Raleigh’s Burning Coal Theatre Company, in collaboration with the NC Museum of History, will be presenting “38 Plays in 5 Days." The event, which begins on Saturday, April 23 at noon and concludes Thursday, April 28 at 6 a.m., includes thirty-seven theatrical groups — professional and amateur — as well as celebrities performing nonstop staged readings of Shakespeare's plays with minimal costumes and props. This free event, being held at the NC Museum of History on E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh, is open to the public. It will be live streamed as well as recorded for later viewing.
Twin City Stage Travels to Raleigh
On Wednesday, April 27 at 9 p.m., our local theater group, Twin City Stage (TCS), will present a readers’ theater production of "The Tempest" for the marathon. Thought to have been written in 1610-11, "The Tempest" is set on a remote island, where the sorcerer Prospero, rightful Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place using illusion and skillful manipulation. He conjures up a storm — a tempest — which shipwrecks his usurping brother Antonio and the complicit King Alonso of Naples on the island. There, his machinations bring about the revelation of Antonio's lowly nature, the redemption of the King, and the marriage of Miranda to Alonso's son, Ferdinand.
And while attending TCS's performance in Raleigh is a wonderful opportunity, the group will also be hosting two preview readings for those of us in the Triad. The preview events are planned for April 23 in Greensboro and April 24 in Winston-Salem. both readings are free, however, donations will be gratefully accepted, as well.
Meredith DiPaolo Stephens will direct the TCS production, which will feature music by composer Fred Story and choreography by Kerrie-Jean King.
“It is beyond thrilling to be a part of this celebration of Shakespeare’s life and works, side by side with so many theaters across the state who recognize the significant impact that Shakespeare has on individual lives 400 years after his death,” states Meredith DiPaolo Stephens, director, in a TCS press release. “The concept of presenting 'The Tempest' as a staged reading is both freeing and ironic. Shakespeare’s words often demand movement from the actor, and 'The Tempest' in particular is laced with music, song and dance, which we will embrace as the magic and imagination of our story move us.”