April 7, 2004


LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University's department of theatre and dance will present William Shakespeare's The Tempest April 16 through 19 at 8 p.m. in the Harvey Powers Theatre, Coleman Hall.

"A story of loss and recovery filled with an air of wonder, The Tempest is one of Shakespeare's best-loved tales," said Gary Grant, associate professor of theatre and director of the production.

Banished from their homeland, Prospero and his beautiful daughter Miranda come ashore of an exotic island. Prospero assumes control of the island and summons the sprite Ariel to enact vengeance against his wrongdoers.

In Bucknell's production, many traditional male roles — including that of Prospero — are played by women. "In this gender exploration, we examine the archetypal and mythical aspects of Shakespeare's remarkably complex characters," said Grant.

Grant noted that the play echoes many of the motifs that haunted Shakespeare throughout his career: parents' concern for the welfare of their children, young lovers overcoming obstacles, man's relationship to the natural world, intrigue and treachery in the court, and the Renaissance vision of colonies in the new world.

"Since the play is almost certainly Shakespeare's last full work, The Tempest is, in effect, his farewell to the stage. In this crowning achievement, Shakespeare's imagination soars to marvelous heights with music, magic, monsters and storms, outrageous humor and all sorts of theatrical special effects."

A highlight of each performance is original percussion music composed and performed by guest artist Stacey Fox especially for the production.

Fox's most recent work includes "Chuang Tzu's Pow wow Drum," which combines her experiences as a student of Taoist Arts with her work with Native American students. She will compose a new work for the Omaha Indian Nation's Band in commemoration of the tribe's Pow wow Tradition and the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.

For audience members interested in learning more about the production, the director and actors will hold a forum after the April 18 performance.

Tickets for the performance are $6. Educational groups can purchase tickets at the discount rate of $4 per ticket. Advance tickets for the performance are available from the Campus Box Office in the Weis Center weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by calling 570-577-1000. Tickets also can be purchased one hour before the performance.

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