Aquila Theatre Brings The Tempest to Valley Performing Arts Center

Aquila Tempest

On Sunday, November 16 the Aquila Theatre will bring its innovative style and dynamic physical approach to Shakespeare’s magical tale of forgiveness and enlightenment to Valley Performing Arts Center.

Believed to be Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest is imbued with magic, the supernatural, and a heightened sense of theatricality. Prospero, the Duke of Milan, has been usurped and exiled by his own brother. He is stranded on a remote and mystical island with his daughter Miranda who has been on the island from a very young age. Hoping to restore Miranda to her rightful place, and to seek revenge, Prospero conjures a storm to shipwreck his brother and those who conspired against him. The beautiful Miranda falls in love with Ferdinand, son of one of the conspirators, putting her relationship with Prospero to the test just as retribution is finally within reach.

With an ensemble of superb performers and Aquila’s exhilarating execution, this new production of The Tempest is sure to delight.

Aquila Theatre at Valley Performing Arts Center
Plaza del Sol Concert Hall
Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm
Click Here for tickets and more information

Review: Fantasy Meets Reality in A Noise Within’s THE TEMPEST

The Tempest - ANW

Deborah Strang as Prospero. Photos by Craig Schwartz

The dueling forces of light and dark are constantly at play in the fantasy-meets-reality world of A Noise Within’s The Tempest, the first production of its 2014-15 season. Deborah Strang takes on the role of Prospero in a gender-switch that now finds mother and daughter (rather than father and daughter) stranded on an island some twelve years after Prospero’s brother Antonio (Time Winters) has usurped her power in Milan and set them both adrift in a boat to die at sea. Unfortunately for Antonio, they didn’t die, and now the time has come for Prospero to restore her daughter to her rightful place, forgive the injustices done to them, and complete a circle of life.

As with every ANW production, the stagecraft and theatrical effects are striking and never fail to impress. Lightness comes in the form of whimsical touches: a storybook cutout set design with giant construction paper-like trees, fanciful white dresses and enormous hats for the ladies, a ping pong match between the lovers, and songs delicately sung by chanteuse Eliza Kiss.  More

Why South Coast Rep’s Version of THE TEMPEST is Special (Hint: It’s the magic)

South Coast Rep, Segerstrom Stage
August 29, 2014 – September 28, 2014 (opening night Sept 5)
Adapted and directed by Aaron Posner and Teller with songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan. Choreography by Matt Kent and Pilobolus
Post-Show Discussions: Wednesday, Sept. 10, and Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014
ASL-interpreted performance: Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014
Tickets and information:

A Noise Within Opens a REVOLUTIONary Season with THE TEMPEST

ANW TempestA Noise Within will open its 2014-2015 REVOLUTIONary season with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by Timothy Douglas in his ANW debut. The show opens on Saturday, September 13 and runs through Saturday, November 22, 2014. This will be the third production of The Tempest for A Noise Within, which also mounted the play in 1993 and 2006; going against the grain in true revolutionary form, Prospero will be cast with a woman in the role, ANW favorite Deborah Strang.

Shakespeare’s final major work, The Tempest occupies an in-between world that straddles the fine line between the ethereal (magic, fairies, and hybrid humans) and the real (love, freedom, and the power of nature). It tells the tragicomic tale of Prospero, The Duke of Milan, and his daughter, Miranda, who are marooned on an island due to the machinations of Prospero’s brother, Antonio. When Antonio’s ship is run aground by a massive storm, he and his comrades must navigate an isle rife with spirits and temptation. It is a morality tale about the rulers and the ruled, and how those roles can shift over time.  More

Cornerstone Theater Company Ready to Tour with California: The Tempest

CA Tempest
Go along for the ride as Cornerstone Theater Company presents a world premiere adaption of Shakespeare’s The Tempest on an epic 10-city tour that begins later this month. California: The Tempest, written by Cornerstone co-founder Alison Carey and directed by its artistic director Michael John Garcés, will travel to ten diverse California cities over the coming year. From the downtown Los Angeles Arts District to Arvin, Lost Hills, Grayson & Westley, Pacoima, Fowler, East Salinas, Holtville, Eureka, San Francisco and then back to Downtown LA (where it all began), each of these ten communities will contribute to writing the play they inspire. In each location, a community chorus will join the touring artists as part of the show.

The journey will begin with two staged readings at Grand Performances in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles on August 22 and 23 at 8:00 pm.  More

Mosaic Lizard Theater Presents Movement-Inspired THE TEMPEST

Mosaic Lizard Theater - Tempest

Mosaic Lizard Theater will incorporate a variety of movement disciplines into its upcoming production of The Tempest, directed by MLT Associate Director, Greg Langner. The Tempest will run August 8 – 17, and features a cast that includes Zack Guzman as Prospero, Lauren Estrada as Miranda, Lisa Lozano as Ariel, Josh Puga as Caliban, and Dominic Durran as Ferdinand, with Jessica Bernal (Alsonso), Mignon DeLarre (Antonio), Rachellynn Walker (Stephano), Bianca Gregory (Trinculo), Toby Guebert (Gonzalo), Jonathan Hull (Sebastian), and Summer Stratton (Boatswain).

In discussing the concept Langner says, “As a director, part of my background is in Postmodern Dance, Japanese Butoh, and East Asian arts/methods so a big part of the aesthetic of this piece will be the integration of text and subtext with these kinds of choreographed expressions.  More

A Noise Within Announces REVOLUTIONARY 2014-15 Season

A Noise Within

A Noise Within, led by producing artistic directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott, announces its 23rd season of classic theater in Southern California. Informed by the climate of social and economic upheaval in which we live, the season’s theme – reflected in a kaleidoscopic palette of plays – is REVOLUTION.

“We have always crafted overarching themes for our repertory seasons,” says Geoff Elliott, “but none has presented itself as organically and viscerally as this year’s.” Julia Rodriguez-Elliott reinforces this notion, adding, “In many ways, the idea of REVOLUTION had entered our collective consciousness in ways that all but dared us not to embrace it. As a director, I am especially energized by the concept of ‘disorderly conduct’ – both because it appears as a theme in every one of these plays, and because wherever we look, it is rearing its head in the forms of civic, social, and political unrest.” The company’s revolutionary season will include: More

Shakespeare Youth Festival, L.A. Launches its Season on April 5

The country’s youngest Shakespeare Troupe, Los Angeles Drama Club, expands its season to include four plays this spring, including FREE performances of The Tempest at Club Fais Do Do (5253 W. Adams Blvd). In addition, the company will present A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Richard III at the Lyric Theatre (520 N. La Brea Ave). The Drama Club has been presenting full productions of the Bard’s plays since 2004. Now, ten years later, the group is a thriving non-profit organization, with more than 100 young people, ages 6 to 18, from across the city, “growing up with the Bard.” Here’s a look at their upcoming schedule.

April 5 – 6: The Tempest
A deposed nobleman creates a magical life on an island for himself and his exiled daughter – what should he do when the opportunity for revenge arises? From betrayal and oppression to forgiveness and freedom, get ready for an afternoon filled with drama, music, humor, adventure and magic. Fais Do Do.

April 12 – 13: Midsummer Night’s Dream
A mysterious forest, ruled over by a Fairy King and Queen, a bunch of “civilians” rehearsing a play, and four young runaways who get caught up in it all. Imagine this commonly performed play, performed in an uncommon way, early “silent film era” style in the days when the expression on an actor’s face told everything and more! The Lyric Theatre.

May 3 – 4: Richard III
Come discover why and how Richard III continues to fascinate generations of audiences. As is our culture, multiple Players will divide up the title role – representing his splintered self. The Lyric Theatre.

May 10 – 11: Two Gentlemen of Verona
One of Shakespeare’s “romantic” (yet not so romantic) comedies, this play uncovers the possible disasters when one has to choose between loyalty to a friend and one’s own desires and agenda when the two are at cross-purposes. Full of iconic, large and colorful characters and lots of music, it includes one of Shakespeare’s first cross-dressing heroines, and a couple of scene-stealing clowns. The Lyric Theatre.

For more information about the season, visit

What Happens When You Combine the LA Phil, Shakespeare and Tchaikovsky?

Gustavo Dudamel
Updated: The Los Angeles Philharmonic has an exciting concert coming up at Walt Disney Concert Hall featuring a unique program specifically for you music-loving Shakespeare enthusiasts. It’s Shakespeare Fantasy, a special concert presentation that is part of the LA Phil’s  TCHAIKOVSKYFEST on Wed. Feb 26th, with conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The program will include music inspired by Tchaikovsky’s love for Shakespeare, including his Hamlet Fantasy Overture, The Tempest Fantasy Overture, and Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture.

Here’s the best part. The performance will also feature Orlando Bloom, Joe Morton and Condola Rashad presenting key scenes from Shakespeare’s plays before each piece. Bloom and Rashad recently played the title characters in Romeo and Juliet on Broadway, and reprise their roles here for one night only. The all-star cast is directed by Kate Burton, Tony-nominated stage and screen actress and daughter of the late Richard Burton.

This really is a one-of-a-kind event as Dudamel and the LA Phil celebrate the English playwright whom Tchaikovsky adored; so much so that the composer once thought of learning English just to read the plays in their original language.

You can also join renowned music scholar Joseph Horowitz at 7:00 pm for a FREE Upbeat Live pre-concert talk that will provide historical and cultural context for the concert.

Wed. February 26, 2014 – 8:00 pm
Walt Disney Concert Hall
111 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Review: Kingsmen Shakespeare Company’s The Tempest

A short drive up the 101 to Thousand Oaks, and located on the campus of Cal Lutheran University, you’ll find the summer home of Kingsmen Shakespeare Company. For 17 years the professional theatre group has been presenting Shakespeare’s classic plays outdoors in a lovely corner of the grounds, bordered by grand old trees and a creek that runs behind the stage.

Affordable ticket prices, easy parking adjacent to Kingsmen Park, and the promise of a magical night under the stars brings loyal audience members back year after year and entices first-timers to join in the fun. I was one of the first-timers this past week, as the Kingsmen opened their season with Shakespeare’s redemptive comedy, The Tempest.

In it, the exiled Duke Prospero (Harold Dixon) uses his magical powers to create a storm that will bring those who wronged him many years earlier to his island in order to make things right. It is a play full of the supernatural and one that stands apart from Shakespeare’s other works in its very theatrical nature. Instead of pleasing the audience with intricate plot developments or complicated historical chronicles, it gives over to a world of magic and visual pageantry that director Michael J. Arndt expresses in some imaginative ways.  More

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