London actors return to Notre Dame in “The Tempest”
Courtney Eckerle | Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Actors from the London Stage, one of the oldest touring Shakespearean companies, will be gracing their home campus again this fall, this time bringing the Shakespearean classic “The Tempest” with them. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Washington Hall.
In a typical performance from the Actors from the London Stage, the group of five players portray as many as four characters each on a stage free from the confines and restrictions of superfluous props or wardrobe.
Often characters will only be distinguished from one another with a single identifying wardrobe piece, such as a scarf or a cane. Actors from the London stage have been performing and self-directing the Bard’s work in this simple, sleek and cleansing manner for 35 years.
They visit 16 to 20 universities in one year, doing a tour in the fall and one in the spring.
While at Notre Dame, the actors do a week’s worth of in-class workshops with students, sharing their experienced knowledge of the stage, as well as numerous tricks of the trade from their training in London.
The troop members will visit the Audition Seminar class during the week stay. After attending past troop productions and a workshop two years ago, Sloan Thacker, a senior theater major in the class, said she is excited for the workshop.
“Their presence here is always a great opportunity for theater students, as well as other students, to talk to professional actors and learn from their experience,” Thacker said. “They’re such talented people, so it’s great. It is definitely going to be a good learning experience for our class.”
“The Tempest” is Shakespeare’s last work. The play “is set on a remote island, where Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan, plots to restore his daughter Miranda to her rightful place — using illusion and skillful manipulation,” according to the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center description.
Utilizing that illusion and skillful manipulation, Prospero organizes a small reunion with his brother and some of his colleagues, many of which wronged the former Duke on his way out of power.
The performance offers a unique experience to see Shakespeare in a rare minimalist setting.
Tickets for the performances can be purchased through the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center, and cost $12 for students, $18 for seniors and $20 for regular tickets.