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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    “The Tempest” performance on campus turns heads

    The deep rasps of ragged breath and the slow, cruel sounds of a heart monitor were only slightly troubling compared to the pale, sickly-looking man lying in a hospital bed.   This would be depressing, except that it is only a scene audience members will walk into should they choose to see the Asylum Theatre Company presentation of William Shakespeare’s famous play, “The Tempest.”

    While no Shakespeare play can properly be understood and enjoyed through plot summary, it is, in essence, a story of betrayal and manipulation told in three subplots encompassing one larger plot.

    This dramatic tale of fame was adapted and directed by Valeri Lantz-Gefroh, founding member of the Asylum Theatre Company and current Stony Brook University professor.

    In keeping with this Stony Brook theme, everyone acting in the play is either a graduate of, or professor at, Suffolk County Community College or Stony Brook University.

    These actors, eight in total, have to portray 11 characters, so, obviously, there had to be some overlap.  However, costume changes and clear plot differences made this a non-issue.

    The actors did a an excellent job of portraying who they needed to be at that moment, true to the actors’ craft.

    They all brought enthusiasm and energy to this modernized classic.

    The play itself was intended for a more modern audience as a giant screen appeared behind the actors.

    This screen was crucial to the play.  It would often provide a montage of activities that were unspoken but occurring in the characters’ mind.  It was a window into what various characters were thinking.

    The screen was used just enough to keep the play moving forward without being too distracting.

    While the whole play was dramatic with the shouts of actors, rapid movements, and abrupt stage movements by the cast, the most intense moment was, arguably, the beginning.

    “The beginning threw me off,”  said Anna Aguilar, a 24-year-old graduate student said. That is quite understandable. The beginning had the most screen usage of oceans and doctors running through a hospital, to match the man lying in the hospital bed.

    Not only that,  Ariel was doing a lot, and it was hard to understand without prior Tempest knowledge that she was just a spirit.

    She was guiding Prospero, one of the primary characters, up a ladder, calling his name, and there was just a lot of movement between that and the ship crash happening concurrently.  It was loud and a tad hard to follow; however, it soon turned into a far more standard production.

    “The Tempest” ended in a hearty applause by the audience, a testament to the actors, director and crew.

    However, The Tempest doesn’t end quite yet.  There are still four more shows available. The play spans one more weekend from Oct. 6 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 9 at 2 P.M.  Tickets are $10.

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