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Department Of Theatre And Media Arts

Prospero’s Charms O'erthrown: Young Audiences Asked to Lend Hands to Master “The Tempest

BYU’s Young Company Reimagines a Shakespeare Classic

.Audiences are invited to a beach crossroads with some of their favorite characters and cast from Shakespeare and BYU’s Theatre and Media Arts (TMA) Department. Teresa Dayley Love, director, playwright and theater education professor at BYU is staging her adaptation of “The Tempest” for young audiences.

“I doubt there’s ever been a production of ‘The Tempest’ with an onstage beach navigation sign that points the ways to Avonlea, Max’s Wild Thing Island, Wonderland and Hogwarts, as well as Naples and Milan,” she said, when asked about the uniqueness of the play. Love said references to familiar literature are true to the original Shakespeare play but that she has updated the references to fit a modern, younger audience.

The play begins with a contemporary setting and characters before transitioning into Shakespeare’s story about a betrayed wizard king and his daughter. It’s 50 minutes long and engages the audience in captivating storytelling. “The audience makes, on cue from their seats, the sounds and motions of the waves, wind, thunder and lightning, a tempest,” Love explained. “The implication is that the scattering of the items on the shoreline is caused by the storm, and the characters place the flotsam and jetsam in rather random places when the storm stills. Those items the tempest tossed onto the beach then end up being used to help tell the story.” She said audience members may also be invited to act along with members of the Young Company.

Each performance has aspects of choose-your-own-adventure with audience participation and actor improvisation. However, all variations benefit from Love’s 40 years of experience writing and directing theatre for young audiences. “We found children can laugh uproariously in one breath and feel poignancy in the next,” Love said, “and we remembered that a puppet always fascinates.” Love said the company invites young audiences to rehearsals before the performance to gauge audience response.

“Meet the Company” discussions immediately following each performance. ASL interpretation is available in the April 11 production.

Tickets and Show Details:

Date & Time: April 3–5, 9–12 at 7:00 p.m.
April 13 at 2:00 p.m. & 4:00 p.m.
Location: West Campus Studio Theatre
Price: $8-11
Tickets: BYU Tickets

This production is suitable for children young and old but intended for ages 6 and up. We know that you know your children best and trust your judgment when planning attendance for your family.