The Tempest

  • Katharine Goodland
  • John O’Connor
Part of the A Directory of Shakespeare in Performance Series book series (DSP)


Cheryl Cashman… pares the text skillfully to 90 minutes, cuts out the visual spectacle but not the music (very beautifully managed by Jim Heineman), stages the work in a space the size of a large rug, and emerges gracefully, not with a Tempest in a teacup, but a tiny Tempest all the same, intimate and pleasing. There is a lot to be said for that intimacy in which only about 50 people share in the experience of this lovely play. The work reveals itself simply and without bombast. The production is being staged in front of the altar in Holy Trinity Church, Trinity Square, which suggests a specifically Christian reading of the play not particularly present in Cashmans version. The effect of the religious setting is simply one of tranquility, an island of calm amid all the construction ugliness outside, an island for Prospero. This Tempests simple unpretentiousness is very likable, even though the absence of visual ostentation places a burden on the play’s language which this productions actors cant all meet… Verse-speaking isn’t really the problem with Dennis Hayes’ Prospero. His island wizard is a crinkly old charmer, more given to smiles than anger … But Hayes gives us little sense of the character’s development … Hayes’ Prospero is so sweet and harmless, so much the Johnny Carson of the enchanted island, that [this] Tempest seems at times not just simple but innocuous. This is particularly odd, since she is able, with some of the other characters, to draw out the thorny issues. Lisa Hick’s Miranda…, though inexperienced with poetry, isn’t the usual dimwit, but stormy and headed for disillusion. Frank Canino’s Caliban is tough and dangerous, but also pathetic enough to point a finger at Prospero’s failure to educate him.


Noisy Speech Aircraft Noise Tree Stump Rock Crystal Religious Setting 
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Copyright information

© Katharine Goodland and John O’Connor 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharine Goodland
  • John O’Connor

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