Evergreen Players Perform The Tempest

As the scene opens with a crack of thunder, flashing lights, and a ship-like set, the audience is thrust into the world of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

For those unfamiliar, The Tempest is a play following Prospero, a former Duke of Milan, who is stranded on an island with his daughter Miranda after having been overthrown from his dukeship twelve years ago by his brother. Opportunity arises as he sees a ship carrying his brother and many other Italian nobles. He uses his knowledge of magic and the help of his spirit-servant Ariel to print about a tempest, stranding the nobles on his island. Separated and confused, the different groups try to navigate the island and find each other. 

Loyola’s theater department, The Evergreen Players, followed the source material, however, some directing choices distinguish it from many other plays. Most notable were the two roles that were played by multiple people. The first was the main character of Prospero, who was played by six people, separated from the rest of the cast by colorful sashes. The second was Ariel, the spirit and servant who was played by three actors, marked by vines wrapped around their vests. While it may have been a confusing adjustment for those unfamiliar with the play, it was a very cool twist, adding a dramatic flare when the actors spoke in sync and giving a mystical air to the performance. The actors would also often enter or exit the stage by passing through the audience, making it very immersive.

The set was also incredible. The background was lit with an array of colors, shifting to denote the times of day with dark or light hues alongside a large light circle acting as the moon or sun. Colors were also used as tonal indicators for the show. For example, the stage was cast in an eerie red glow when there was contemplation or discussion of violence or treason. 

The play can best be described as a dramedy, blending aspects of Shakespeare’s more tragic dramas with his comedies. There was a balance of serious scenes paired with comic relief throughout. Loyola’s production of The Tempest was a success. For more information on future productions, follow them on Instagram @loyolamdtheatre.