In 1609, the ship Sea Venture, bound for New England full of colonists, was caught in a hurricane and wrecked on Bermuda. Two separate survivors of the shipwreck, William Strachey and Sylvester Jordain, wrote reports of the event, and these reached England around 1610. Scholars speculate that Shakespeare read those reports and based much of the location and action of his play on that real-life event – and indeed, The Tempest is dated from around 1610-1611.
Shakespeare’s original involves Dukes and Kings and colonies and high treason. In our version, Prospero, is not the exiled Duke of Milan, but rather the CEO of the Hotel Milan, an exclusive resort in The Bahamas and a family company. His brother, the ambitious and hardworking Antonio, effected a very hostile takeover of the company, completing the job by putting Prospero and his baby daughter Miranda on a boat and sending it out to sea. Antonio then aligns himself with Michaela Naples-Sands, the female head of Naples-Florida Resorts International, to create a resort empire that exceeds their wildest dreams.
Michael, Antonio, and company are on their way back to Florida from the Turks and Caicos when they have to pass Prospero’s island, the magical and elusive Prosperity Cay, where Prospero has been living as an active magician for the past twelve years. Prospero conjures up a magic hurricane which shipwrecks all his enemies on his island, and there he proceeds to work justice upon those who have wronged him. What happens next is Shakespeare’s classic tale of magic, mystery and restitution, all carried out on an island inhabited by natural spirits.
Shakespeare’s original was dramaturged for this modern Bahamian setting by College of The Bahamas students under the guidance of Nicolette Bethel, and is produced by Ringplay Productions for Shakespeare in Paradise. Professional Bahamian stage actors Craig Pinder (Prospero) and Dana Ferguson (Ariel) head a diverse cast, and the production is co-directed by Pinder, whose career in the UK includes lead roles in Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables and several turns in Royal Shakespeare Company productions, and by Trinidadian actress and director Patti-Anne Ali, whose resume includes a supporting role in Merchant-Ivory’s The Mystic Masseur, and numerous acting and directing credits in her native Trinidad and in New York.
Dramaturged by Nicolette Bethel, Travis Cartwright-Carroll, and Reva Devi
Directed by Patti-Anne Ali and Craig Pinder
Thursday, October 8, 2009 @11:00am – The Dundas Theatre*
Thursday, October 8, 2009 @8:00p.m. – The Dundas Theatre
Friday, October 9, 2009 @11:00am – The Dundas Theatre*
Friday, October 9, 2009 @8:00p.m. – The Dundas Theatre
Saturday, October 10, 2009 @8:00p.m. – The Dundas Theatre
Sunday, October 11, 2009 @8:00p.m. – The Dundas Theatre
*Special Student Matinee