William Shakespeare’s wizardry tale that brings love and witty humor, The Tempest, will come to the American River College Theatre stage April 22, by way of director and ARC theater professor Tracy Martin Shearer.
The Tempest begins with the magician Prospero, who, after 12 years stranded on an island, causes the ship of his enemy King Alonso to crash on the island.
The comic relief comes together as Prospero’s servant Caliban befriends King Alonso’s jester Trinculo and his drunken butler Stephano.
Caliban, played by theater major Emmanuel Jimenez, is commonly portrayed as a brutish monster but will be done differently by Jimenez.
“I’m trying to make the character less of a brute and scary and more just misunderstood,” Jimenez said. “We don’t want him to be a monster… I base a lot of my character work off of native peoples.”
The trio remains a constant riot throughout the play, as Caliban has plans to reclaim his island.
“Our intent is we want the audience to laugh,” Jimenez said. “So we’re very slapstick silly…they’re the two clowns of the play.”
Trinculo, the king’s jester, is a traditionally male role but is being played by theater major Angelina Steshenko.
“The only thing that’s changing about the character is that it’s now a woman, but the profession and characteristics don’t really change,” Steshenko said. “Not very smart, but very fun.”
King Alonso is played by former ARC student Josh Hooper, 40, who was eager to try out for a role in a Shakespeare play.
“I was here a long time ago,” Hooper said. “It’s fun to come back here and do this…this show, The Tempest, it’s an amazing Shakespeare show.”
“The last show I was in here was actually A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 2001,” Hooper said. “It’s been a while.”
The cast and crew will continue honing their skills to bring a magical performance on opening night, Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m.