Director: Snejina Tankovska
Institution: Central Academy of Drama China
Venue: Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore
Time: 20:00, May 18, 2013
Event: ATEC 8th International Forum
The Tempest was written in 1611 and is the last play created completely by Shakespeare in his final period (1608-13) as dramatic poet.
In late 2012 together with a group of young actors to be from the Class of 2010 and a creative team from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing I embarked on a journey to create our stage version of The Tempest.
The setting of the play is an uninhabited island, surrounded by the “boundless” sea where the imaginative power of Prospero’s enchantments works and a place entirely run according to its own laws. Anything seems possible here, yet all is not as it seems. This is a space of infinite opportunity and infinite uncertainty. The play begins with a storm scene as the starting point of an adventure marked by wreck and redemption. The Tempest is a rite of passage with the painful and mysterious renewals of change that all the characters undergo during the three-hour “moment” of their life on the island. The action of the play brings together politics, conspiracy, revenge, romance and storms turned out phantom, airy spirits transforming into various shapes, vanishing banquets, “noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not”. The interpretation of the play is to a large extent centered at the relation of the three characters – Prospero, Ariel and Caliban. But it is in Prospero’s solitary journey that the play takes its emotional energy. Prospero’s story is about his personal quest for the worth of his actions – “the rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance”, in his unresolved struggle for mastery over himself, life and death. His present life as a master of the island with magical power is about to end. He is on the verge of a new beginning (as it happened 12 years ago). In the Epilogue Prospero the Magician, turned the Exiled Duke of Milan, turns the theatre artist who has to close tonight’s show addressing the audience. Tomorrow there will be a new one.
It is in The Tempest that Shakespeare most fully exploits the magic of theatre. The world of the play is a strange amalgam of the imaginative power of its enchantments - marvels, miracles and dream life with the strong drive for disenchantment, all created by Prospero in a theatrical laboratory of its own unique kind.
And it is with The Tempest that Shakespeare once again brings us to the recognition of the challenge of life as a constant change, the fragility and the strength of the human being, the infinite possibilities of our imagination to create new worlds.
To bring on stage The Tempest is an ongoing process for our team.
What an exciting challenge for us all is to have the last dramatic text of Shakespeare as the point of departure for this quest of ours, and the power of the creative act as its driving force.
The poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And, as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.
(William Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Act V, Scene 1)
I wish a fulfilling journey to us all.
Snejina Tankovska December 25, 2012 Beijing
Antonio who was casting greedy eyes on the power of his brother Prospero, the Duke of Milan, was in collusion with the king of Naples.
Antonio cruelly sent his brother and 3-year old niece Miranda to a barren island, they were living toughly for more than 10 years. Prospero did painstaking research on magic, finally, he could control the forces of nature, then once Antonio, the king of Naples and his son were going on a tour by boat, when he brought a tempest...