Summer Shakespeare is back. Island Stage Left’s new production of “The Tempest” comes to Orcas Island.
This is Shakespeare’s fantasy about a magical island populated by spirits, monsters, a duke-turned-magician, and a group of corrupt castaways including a king, two vicious courtiers, and a pair of inebriated underlings.
Island Stage Left, the San Juans’ only professional theatre company, will bring the show to Doe Bay Resort at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11.
“It’s the perfect play to do here,” said director Helen Machin-Smith. “It has comedy and tragedy and romance and magic. It appeals to children and adults. And of course, it’s set on a magical island. And where do we live? On a magical island!”
The plot centers on Prospero, a deposed duke marooned on a remote island with his daughter. He has studied magic and gained frightening powers. When his enemies are washed up on the same shore, they’re in his grip. Will he be fair? Can he forgive?
The play contains many of Shakespeare’s best-loved phrases – “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep”… “Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows!” … “O brave new world, that has such people in it.” And some wonderful insults: “Thou deboshed fish, thou!”
The cast is led by Daniel Mayes as Prospero. Mayes’ acting career has included leading roles at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland; at the Intiman, ACT and Seattle Rep theaters; and more than 43 roles at Island Stage Left.
The servant-spirit Ariel is played by Sylvie Davidson, whose recent appearances include ACT Theatre’s “The Crucible” and Alliance Theatre’s “Troubadour.”
Caliban, the unhappy monster-slave, is played by David Natale, familiar to Northwest audiences at Seattle Rep, Seattle Public, Annex, Mirror Stage, Eclectic and Key City Public Theatre.
They are supported by an experienced cast of professionals and islanders. Music has been specially created for this production by Nashville singer/songwriter Trevor Wheetman.
This is ISL’s 20th year of giving the San Juan Islands professional quality theatre with admission by donation. ($20 suggested) Celebrating those 20 years with “The Tempest” is especially significant because this was the play with which ISL co-founders Mayes and Machin-Smith started Shakespeare Under the Stars back in 1998. They reprised the play in 2008 for the 10th anniversary, and this year’s new production of “The Tempest” keeps that tradition alive.
For more information, visit www.islandstageleft.org or call 360-378-5649