News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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February 21, 2013

The Woods brings Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ to the stage

TERRE HAUTE — Magic, music and comedy are coming to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. The Music and Theatre Department at The Woods will present William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” Feb. 28 through March 3 at the Cecilian Auditorium.

Shakespeare’s late comedy, “The Tempest,” has been performed as everything from a diatribe against British imperialism to a hymn dedicated to the pleasures of a life of solitude. One of Shakespeare’s last plays, it centers on the powerful scholar and magician Prospero and his life with his daughter, Miranda.

Prospero is the rightful Duke of Milan and has been seized by a wicked brother and exiled to a remote island inhabited by spirits, fairies and the uncivilized son of the island’s former owner.

SMWC’s production will be set in the 1900s — America’s Gilded Age — with Prospero as the usurped Mayor of Terre Haute.

Sharon Ammen, SMWC’s professor of theatre, serves as director. She has directed numerous plays for the college, including “The Sound of Music” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Technical director Tyler Hutcheson will add his creative expertise as the set designer. SMWC welcomes back Indiana State University professor emeritus David DelColletti as lighting designer and professional actor Brandon Wentz as Prospero.

Original music will be composed for this production by John McIntyre, SMWC associate professor of music and award-winning composer, and Laurie Matheson, University of Illinois press editor and published choral composer.

“Without losing any of the richness of Shakespeare’s language, we have added original choral and instrumental music,” Ammen said. “The aim of our adaptation is to explore Shakespeare’s meditation on the mysterious and ephemeral nature of life in a manner entertaining to everyone from dedicated followers of the bard to first-time initiates. ‘The Tempest’ is suitable for audience members of all ages — and a great way to introduce Shakespeare to children.”

The performance honors the class of 1946 and the memory of Mary Gavin Crawford, who graduated from SMWC that year. Crawford performed at The Woods as a student and loved theater throughout her life. She and her husband, John, were generous supporters of The Woods, and upon Crawford’s death in April of 2012, the college was gifted funds to establish the Mary Gavin Crawford Endowment. This endowment will continue a rich tradition of performing arts at The Woods.

If you go

What: The Music and Theatre Department at SMWC will present William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

When: 7 p.m. Feb. 28; 7 p.m. March 1 (public reception and discussion to follow); 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. March 2; and 2 p.m. March 3

Where: Cecilian Auditorium, SMWC campus

Tickets: Adults: $10; children 12-16 and senior citizens: $5. College students with ID and children under 12 are free. Call (812) 535-6211 for more information.

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