Harper Ensemble Theatre to stage Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

"The Tempest"This year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and yet his body of work continues to be the most widely produced in all of recorded history.

That comes to no surprise to Professor and Director of Theater Laura Pulio Colbert, who says the playwright’s insights into human nature are enduring.

The themes of trickery, magic, romance and revenge will be explored in the Harper Ensemble Theatre’s upcoming production of “The Tempest,” which will run March 11 to March 20 in the Performing Arts Center. Performances are held at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays.

Pulio Colbert adapted the play for the stage to offer a new twist on Shakespeare’s classic about young love, old enemies and the eternal magic of storytelling. The spell begins when Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan who has been exiled with his daughter Miranda, conjures up a storm to lure his treacherous brother to an enchanted island.

“I select plays that speak to me and have humanity in their message,” she said. “I try to do that in a way that makes Shakespeare accessible to a contemporary American audience.”

Students and staff will see a couple familiar faces on stage. English Professor Andrew Wilson plays the part of Trinculo, a ship mariner and a fool, while Tim Philbin of the Library leads the cast as Prospero. Pulio Colbert said Philbin, who has his Master of Fine Arts in acting, sets an excellent example for students and helps them reach their full potential. He’s had a role in more than 10 plays at Harper.

“This is one of the most exciting things about our program,” Pulio Colbert said. “Our traditional students are able to share the stage with seasoned professionals and, in doing so, they learn and grow in an active highly professional environment.”

The play, which is widely considered to be the last of Shakespeare’s solo plays and his final masterpiece, features original music by Steve Goers of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Tickets to “The Tempest” are $12 for seniors and Harper students, faculty and staff. General admission tickets are $15. Contact the Box Office at 847.925.6100 or harpercollege.edu/boxoffice.

Media contact:Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159

Last Updated: 3/10/23