Sunday, October 30, 2011


On Saturday our class went on a second field trip, this time to see The Tempest by the Pioneer Theater Company.

I had a lot of thoughts and reactions to the play, but they're not very cohesive. So I'll just write some down and see how it goes.

The set was very impressive. In a way, it was simple, in that it was plain, wooden platforms. But, the platforms went three stories. And, in what I thought was a great addition to Shakespeare's play, the play began with Prospero and Ariel adding more to the set, as if they were in the workshop getting ready to make a big storm. With theater magic, Prospero lowered lanterns and a windmill, and a few other whimsical contraptions.

Did anyone notice Miranda's "tomboy" tendencies? I noticed at one point in the play she wasn't, as my dad would tell my sisters when they were younger, "sitting like a lady." And there was also the time when she playfully slugged Ferdinand. And, of course, it makes sense that she would act like a tomboy! She's spent the last 12 years as the only human female on the island. I thought that was a nice idea for playing the part of Miranda.

Another thing about Miranda I noticed was that the very first time Caliban showed up in a scene, Miranda began to gather up her skirts, as if she was preparing to make a run for it. Did anyone else notice that? I thought that was another cool idea, that she would just bring her guard up whenever Caliban was around, almost as if by instinct.

Our carpool group stayed after the play for the Q&A session with the actors. And we noticed how similar Prospero and Ariel were to the actors who played them. We could tell that Julia Motyka, who played Ariel, had a background in dance before she said it out loud. Because not only did she move her hands a lot while she talked, but her hands flowed. She said she got married not too long ago, and on her honeymoon in Africa she noticed the way that birds moved, and that became her inspiration for how Ariel would move. And Craig Wroe, who played Prospero, seemed sort of unapproachable in the way that he talked and answered questions, maybe a little arrogant. I know Chris in particular had a question to ask, but decided against it.

I noticed in the program a message from the art director, talking about why he loved The Tempest and what it meant to him. He also mentioned that this was his last play, so I wanted to ask him about the link between Shakespeare using this play as a farewell and himself bidding adieu with this play. But, unfortunately, he wasn't there for the Q&A.

I also would have liked to ask Paul Kiernan, who played Caliban, where he got his inspiration. If Ariel was based on birds, what animals was Caliban based on? But he didn't come out on stage for the Q&A either. Probably because of all the make up he had to take off. (To me, he looked like Shrek with dreadlocks.)

Well, those are a few observations to start out with. I look forward to reading the other blogs in my class* and learning what they thought of the play.

*Look at the links on the right side of the page.


  1. I noticed her tomboy tendencies too, and just her overall social awkwardness. And you're right, it makes sense. She has not been raised around other people, hasn't been exposed even to novels or media of any kind that portrays interactions and relationships. . . so she'd have no idea how to act. Which might be why she was so ready to marry some guy she just met. I just want to know what Ferdinand's excuse is haha.

  2. I didn't expect that from Miranda. Why do you think they directed the actress that way? Does it add a deeper understanding of their relationship, or does it make it seem more shallow and unimportant? While reading and discussing the play, I thought that they really loved each other. This performance though made it seem like they were just immature and naiive in their love for each other.