By ARIA SAL
The UHS Theater Arts Department performed Shakespeare’s The Tempest from November 15th to the 18th. The Tempest started out in the wild center of a storm that carried the King of Naples and his other companions, struggling to stay buoyant. Prospero and his daughter Miranda watched the storm swallow the ship, which he provoked through magic. The play starred Isaac Kopstein (Sr.) as Prospero, Ellena Eshraghi (Sr.) as Miranda, and Amina Khelif (Sr.) as Stefano.
At first, when I walked into the theatre, I felt like the show was not going to interest me because it was written by Shakespeare, notorious for his confusing language. The moment the play started, however, my attention was grabbed with the dancing of the whole cast. I found the incorporation of modern day music in the beginning scenes to be very interesting and entertaining. My favorite part of the play was when the spirits entered on stage with snakes in their hands. The conversations throughout the play between Stefano and Trineulo, played by Neiman Araque (Jr.), were always comical additions that highlighted the characters. One specific scene that was funny was when Stefano forced Trineulo to drink the alcohol from her bottle, almost shoving the bottle down his throat. I also liked the romance between Miranda and Ferdinand, portrayed by Davide Costa (Jr.), as it continuously brought the stage to life.
While the show production was amazing, there were difficult aspects of performing. “Memorizing the lines was difficult because it was always a challenge to interpret and convey the messages within Shakespeare’s words,” Khelif said.
The audience’s reactions throughout the show provided the actors positive affirmation. “It’s always super rewarding when we hear or sense some kind of reaction from the audience, whether it’s a gasp, a laugh or a collective ‘awhhh’,” Eshraghi said. “These signals tell us as actors that we are doing our job right and we are successfully conveying our meaning to our audience.”
“I did all the choreography, which was a fun challenge,” said Angelina Ross (Jr.), playing Ceres as a member of the ensemble. Ceres’s role in the play was to perform a masque for Ferdinand and Miranda. “My favorite part was seeing everything come together in the end.”
I asked several audience members on their opinions of the show. “It was an excellent performance by all,” Tushar Nippuleti (Jr.) said.
The bold choice in music was also a distinct feature of audience commentary. “The music selection drove the emotions through the theatre,” Matin Ghalambor (Jr.) said.
Overall, the cast was able to transform The Tempest in a highly comical and compelling way that surpassed my expectations.