Playcrafters Presents Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

by Patricia Bradford

Spirits, monsters, and magic are some of the ethereal charms you’ll encounter on Playcrafters’ stage in their 2021 season finale—William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Shakespeare’s classic stage play is one of the richest and most fascinating of his works. The story of the triumph of virtue over vengeance takes on themes of treachery, betrayal, family strife, and redemption.

“It’s a fantasy,” explained Director David Deratzian of the two-hour-and-twenty-minute family-friendly show with intermission. “The stage setting is that of a floating island. There will be magic…people appearing and disappearing.”

After a storm on the Mediterranean, a boat is shipwrecked at the powerful hands of “Prospero,” a former Duke (played by Bernard DeCassimiro), who was set adrift and marooned on an island 12 years ago, along with his daughter “Miranda” (played by Kashfara Saba), by his deceitful and envious brother, “Antonio” (played by Sam Gugino). Also inhabiting the island is his fairy servant, “Ariel” (played by Allison Deratzian), and a half-human monster, “Caliban” (played by Aaron Wexler). In an act of revenge, Prospero uses his powers to shipwreck his brother and Alonso, the King of Naples (played by Jim Bingley), along with the crew of henchmen: Sebastian, Adrian and Francisco (played by Scott P. Hemmons, Amy Peart, and Anne DuBois).

The characters are all at the bewitching hand of Prospero, who uses his fairy servant, Ariel, to have fun and cast elaborate magical powers. His brother and the King are taunted and teased to remind them of their evil betrayal toward him years before. Meanwhile, not everything is what is appears to be on the island. There are complex love plots between Miranda and Alonso’s son, “Ferdinand” (played by Sean Collins), mischief by Alonso’s drunken butler, “Stephano” (Kathleen Siddall), and Jester “Trinculo” (played by Julian Bonner) in cahoots with Caliban, and the intervention of the Gods (played by Siddall, Peart, and DuBois). The part of the honest councilor “Gonzalo” is played by Benjamin Fried.

The Tempest may be not be so much a comedy, strictly speaking, as in the likes of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but it does contain glimpses of comedy through the traits of the characters and their language.

“It’s a morality play,” added Deratzian. “The whole revenge of Prospero is to get them to see the error of their ways.”

With period appropriate costumes and the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan, The Tempest lands on a redemptive note. In the end, love, reunion, and restoration prevail.

Anne Dubois Boatswain/Francisco/Iris
Amy Peart Master/Adrian/Juno
Bernard DiCassimiro Prospero
Benjamin Fried Gonzalo
Allison Deratzian Ariel
Jim Bingley Alonso
Kashfara Saba Miranda
Julian Bonner Trinculo
Sam Gugino Antonio
Scott P. Hemmons Sebastian
Kathleen Siddall Stephano/Ceres
Sean Collins Ferdinand
Aaron Wexler Caliban

Director/Set Design: David Deratzian
Co-Producers: Cathy Caroll & Marcia Smith
Board Liaison: Arnie Finkel
Stage Manager: Ken Uller
Lighting Design: Ryan Kadwill

If you go:
Playcrafters presents
“The Tempest”
2011 Store Road (The Barn) at Skippack Pike
Skippack, PA
Nov. 18, 19, 20, 26 @ 8 pm
Nov, 27 @ 2 pm & 8 pm, Nov. 28@ 2 pm,
December 2, 3, 4 @ 8 pm
Tickets: $18.00

Theater/Organization: Playcrafters
Theater Address: 2011 Store Road@ Skippack Pike Skippack, Pennsylvania 19474 (Map It)
Theater Phone: (610) 584-4005

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