A Few Words from Tempest Co-Director Craig Pinder
Shakespeare in Paradise Blog had a chance to ask Tempest co-director Craig Pinder a few questions in regards to the upcoming production. Here’s the Q & A:
SiPB: How and why did you become involved in Shakespeare in Paradise?
Craig Pinder: I saw the announcement of ‘Shakespeare in Paradise’ on Facebook and immediately became very excited about this project. For many years I have dreamed of doing some sort of theatre in the Bahamas again, with Shakespeare being at the top of my list. I wanted to try integrating it with Bahamian culture, which seems also to be an important part of the ethos behind this festival. I then contacted Nicolette Bethel expressing my interest in becoming involved.
SiPB: How did you come to be co-director of The Tempest?
CP: Before I knew that a production of The Tempest was being planned, I mentioned to Nicolette that I would like to contribute by perhaps directing something. But when I learned about their plans for The Tempest, I confessed that it had always been a dream of mine to one day play the role of Prospero. Nicolette and her husband Philip Burrows then proposed that I play Prospero and co-direct The Tempest with Patti-Anne Ali. I thought that this was an incredible opportunity and the timing was right for me both personally and professionally.
SiPB: When are you set to begin work on The Tempest?
CP: Auditions start on Saturday 1st August and rehearsals are due to begin on 10th August.
SiPB: What expectations do you have or might you be looking forward to in directing and acting in a production in your hometown?
CP: I have great expectations(!) and on many levels:
Firstly, there is an abundance of natural talent in the Bahamas that I have always found exciting and am looking forward to making direct contact with again. There is quite a complex mixture of cultures here, a part of that mix being the English language. There is no greater ambassador of this language than Shakespeare, and so it is only natural that Shakespeare should continue to be incorporated into Bahamian culture.
Secondly, I expect directing and acting to be a challenge. This scenario is generally known to be problematic if only because, if you’re acting a part, then it becomes difficult to have an overview of the play. But I am confident that this problem will be solved in our case with Patti-Anne Ali also co-directing.
Furthermore, I have longed to connect my Bahamian roots with acting and this project gives me the chance to do just that.
SiPB: Do you anticipate any challenges in directing the Tempest in particular?
CP: Yes. The Tempest is a very profound play, supposedly Shakespeare’s last and quite complex, I think. It will certainly be a challenge tackling those complexities and the problems presented by the text.
Colonialism is an example of one of the issues raised which has direct relevance to the Bahamas. Also, the practice of sorcery in the play was controversial when it was written and remains so among certain groups today. But the fact that the setting is on an island is a gift for putting on the play here.
Hopefully, this gets everyone as excited as we are about Shakespeare in Paradise and The Tempest. Don’t worry if you missed it, more auditions will be coming up, so brush up on your Shakespeare! More interviews to come…