Parkrose High student actors prepare for the coming TEMPEST

How was it that the Shakespearean play, The Tempest, was chosen for a springtime high school theatrical offering? Read this, and see why you should plan to attend this romantic and light-hearted show, starting on May 7 …

Parkrose High actors Tom Crawford (Caliban), Emily Weatherford (Trincula the jester), Taylor Grady (Stephano), and Ashley LeCarno (Ariel) work on their parts for the upcoming production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
While some kids prefer to slide through their drama classes by performing in simple shows, the students in Parkrose High School’s theater arts program have chosen to get the most of their education by playing in challenging productions.

“Our students chose The Tempest for our spring performance,” revealed their Theater Arts Director, Ms. Zena. “They truly enjoy working on Shakespearean plays, and this one appealed to them because it combines both romance and comedy in one play.”

While they get ready for their performances of The Tempest, opening on May 7, Zena said the student actors have been “playing up the comedy a lot, mostly through making strong choices about the characters as caricatures.”

From her perspective as their instructor, Zena told us she’s seen her students gain a great deal as they explore Shakespeare’s use language, and the universality of his themes. And, as the play’s director, she added, “In this play, themes of love, envy, and revenge are prominent – themes which high school students really comprehend. These themes have led to some great discussions with the students about how they perceive the world.”

Alana Rudolph works at building scenery for The Tempest with Mr. Terry Franceschi, Theater Operations Manager at Parkrose High School.

About the story
In a sense, this story has similarities to the TV series “LOST” – although William Shakespeare anticipated the TV show by nearly 400 years.  He probably penned The Tempest in the years 1610–1611.

The story focuses on a banished sorcerer Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan. Using his magical powers, Prospero punishes and forgives his enemies as he raises the tempest that drives them ashore.

  • Will Caliban and two island drunkards, Stephano and Trincula, successfully mount a rebellion against Prospero?
  • Will the romance Prospero arranges between Ferdinand and Miranda last, or fizzle out?
  • Is it possible for Prospero that, by manipulating the course of his enemies’ path through the island, he can draw them closer to him?
  • In the end, will the audience at the Parkrose High Theater (honestly!) choose to free Prospero, by “voting him off the island”?

Come and see The Tempest and find out, starting at opening night on May 7.

Plan now to see The Tempest
Theater Department and Parkrose Thespian Troupe #1783 presents The Tempest opening on May 7, and continuing on May 8 at 7:00 p.m.

  • There’s a special matinee performance on May 9 at 2:00 p.m.
  • The program continues its run on May 14, 15 and 16;
    the curtain rises at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets are just $8 for adults, and $5 for those under age 18 or over 65. All shows are in the beautiful Parkrose High School Theater, 12003 NE Shaver Street, just west of NE 122nd Avenue.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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