As soon as we saw that brief showing of Prospera and Miranda’s scene together in class a few weeks back, I found myself eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Tempest on campus. This past Saturday, I had the lovely experience of seeing it performed, and I honestly enjoyed it so much more than physically reading the play. This could have been because I am more of a kinesthetic and visual learner–needing to do or see things in order to fully understand them–but also the performers truly embraced their respective characters so well. As I’m sure many of the students who went to go see this great production touched on in their blog responses, Prospera was absolutely amazing. I personally liked her relationship with her daughter more than Prospero and Miranda’s written relationship. I thought that Prospera’s change to a female character made the relationship between her and Miranda much more sympathetic and likeable. Prospera’s body language was so maternal, and even as an audience member, made me feel comforted. Miranda’s reactions and engagements with her mother’s body language were very receptive. I feel as though if a male playing Prospero created such body language, it might be received as creepy and may even give off a pedophile impression. Their was such an extreme difference in this change in gender even though their lines were basically the same and similar messages were being portrayed. I found that amazing. I felt as though this gender change of Prospero also affected other character’s portrayals of them. Obviously, Miranda had a dramatic change in role because she went from a daughter “without a mother” to a daughter “without a father” which in my opinion created an entirely different character.
On another note, the stage looked fantastic. I thought the set design was amazing—especially because the props were re-used, recycled, and/or made by students. For the majority of the play, I found the stage to be pretty dark, but that is how I imagined it would be in reading it.
I always love school productions—especially when friends/classmates are in them. The Tempest definitely met my expectations and was certainly worth the ten bucks! Bravo/Brava!!