Let me start by saying I really had a good time watching this play. The cast was great, the set worked well…it was just a really fun time. I particularly liked Stephano, Trinculo and Ariel; Stephano and Trinculo were hilarious (kudos to you Anika, I have to agree that you stole the show), I was honestly cracking up each time they were on stage, and I can’t quite put a finger on it but I really liked this rendition of Ariel. Money well spent.
Overall I didn’t mind the change of Prospero to Prospera at all. I have to admit, there were times where I felt the actress was a little much, but I still think she did great. I think there was a stronger, more obvious bond between parent and child in this play than there would have been had Prospera been Prospero as originally written. You couldn’t miss it whenever Prospera and Miranda were on stage together. While she may have started with revenge as the goal, it quickly became clear that everything Prospera did was for her daughter. While I don’t think it can be argued that Prospero loved his daughter, Prospera in this play seemed to show deeper levels of feeling.
At first, I thought Alfonsa should have been kept a man as it was originally written. However, there was one scene near the end when Prospera is confronting the crew of the ship, including Alonsa, that I thought would have had unneeded sexual tension had the queen had still been a king. I felt the way Prospera acted toward Alonsa could have provided some sort of weird tension or maybe even attraction had Alonsa been kept as Alonso. Probably just my own opinion.
I think an earlier post had an interesting point; had the play had all men, there would have been too much testosterone. Having Prospera and Alonsa helped balance it out. Add Ariel to that and it balances out even more. This change didn’t bother me at all. I really felt like a such a spirit worked better as a woman.
I found Caliban rather interesting. Every now and then I would feel sorry for him. Then he opened his mouth and started cursing. Or he acted like a fool. We talked a little in class about him having been enslaved by Prospero(a) but I got a very different feeling in this play. I felt like Prospera and Miranda genuinely cared for him until he tried to rape Miranda. After that he became a slave. I can’t say I blame Prospera for that; if I had a daughter and found someone I had been helping (or anyone) trying to raper her, I might do worse. When he would talk to Stephano, Caliban looked like a simple fool. Maybe its just me but I don’t think it comes across quite as strongly when reading the play. Combine his dialogue with his mannerisms on stage and he looks more like a child than anything.
What I love about watching a play the most is the fact that I’m able to follow along with little or no difficulty. I always struggle when I read a play, especially Shakespeare. Seeing it in action helps Immensely. I often miss the little things, including jokes, while reading but while watching a play I laugh right along with everyone else.
I’m glad I finally got to see a play on campus. It was really well done and I had a blast watching it. Again great job Anika, you were fantastic.