Cast Of “The Tempest” Illustrates Shakespeare’s Universality

  • Thursday, July 15, 2021 9:52pm
  • Arts

By Susan McCabe

For Vashon Repertory Theatre

When Shakespeare wrote “The Tempest,” there were no women in Elizabethan theatre. Vashon Repertory Theatre’s Theatre Fest will change that up this summer.

The Fest will host six performances of “The Tempest” outdoors at Open Space for Arts & Community, with local theater veteran Jeanne Dougherty in the powerful lead role of Prospero, the vengeful Duke of Milan. The play — one of The Bard’s greatest — features political intrigue, sorcery, romance, and a gang of rude clowns.

Shakespeare’s works contain such universal themes that they easily lend themselves to interpretation.

“At its heart, ‘The Tempest’ is about family – family betrayal, family loss, protecting family,” said Dougherty. “Seeing that through a woman’s lens is a seismic shift in perspective.”

The show’s seasoned director, Darragh Kennan, said the power of the play is not gender-specific.

“Like many of Shakespeare’s later plays, redemption and the act of forgiveness have strong currents throughout ‘The Tempest,’ as does the question of revenge,” he said. “The play shows us ourselves and our faults, our demons and our angels, and even lets us question our existence.”

According to Kennan, the play challenges audiences to ask, “what do we do with the time we have? What do we leave behind?”

But above all, “The Tempest” is meant to be entertaining, and with that purpose in mind, Kennan has assembled a notable cast of actors to take the stage. The play’s leads also include Mik Kuhlman as Ariel, an aging sprite, and Meghan Ames and her true-life partner Christopher Kehoe as the romantic leads, Miranda and Ferdinand. Also look for the dynamic duo of Stephen Floyd and Phil Dunn in the cast, and other familiar faces from Vashon’s vibrant theater scene.

Performances of “The Tempest” will take place at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 23 and 24; 2 p.m. Sunday, July 25; and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, July 31 and Aug. 1, at Open Space for Arts & Community.

More about Vashon Theatre Fest

During the last two weekends of July, the Vashon Theatre Fest will host 33 performances in four different venues of five distinct productions. In addition to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” patrons can enjoy “Woody Guthrie’s American Song,” a musical that blends theatrical storytelling and bluegrass folk into a one-of-a-kind look at the work, life and legacy of Woody Guthrie. Productions of that show will take place in Ober Park.

“FAIL BETTER – Beckett moves UMO,” will tackle life, death, and the mundane with comedy, metaphor, stillness, – and a giant seesaw, at Open Space for Arts & Community. The only indoor performance, a one-person show taking place at Vashon Center for the Arts, will be “Bo-Nita,” which employs humor, pathos, and a dash of Midwest magical realism to follow a mother and daughter’s journey through a working-class America of dwindling resources. “Plays in a Snap!’ will showcase new theatrical creations with readings on Snapdragon Café’s outdoor patio.

The Theater Fest has been brought to Vashon by Vashon Repertory Theatre.

All the Fest’s performances will be staged with current COVID guidelines in place. Individual tickets, ranging from $15 to $20, are available online at vashonrepertorytheatre.org. Weekend passes, also available online, can turn the Vashon Theatre Fest into an affordable weekend staycation complete with discounts for patrons at select island restaurants and businesses.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Arts

Review: Experiencing ‘The Tempest’ on an Island is Sublime

It is a revelation to watch Shakespeare on the Great Lawn of Open Space.

Review: Woody Guthrie’s Legacy Is Shared in Exuberant Musical

To single out anyone denies the ensemble effort, which is really what makes the evening special.

Review: ‘Plays in A Snap’ Provides Chance to See New Works

“She’s Hot” and “Legacies: A Ghost Story” were read as part of the Vashon Repertory’s Theatre Fest.

What’s Happening July 29 – Aug. 5

Aerial festival returns to Open Space, concerts in the Park are coming back, and more.

Acclaimed Dancers Create New Work In Residency on Vashon

“We know great things can be produced here on Vashon.”

Ensemble Routine Inspired by Literary Luminary With Sonic Mind

Audience members in attendance will meet five archetypal Samuel Beckett characters.

Yes, They are All Vashon Artists

By Lynann Politte For Vashon Center for the Arts A day doesn’t… Continue reading

The Desert Island Bookworm Shares Mary Roach’s Wondrous List

It’s not often that one of your favorite authors emails you out of the blue.

A Couple Long Separated by Pandemic Finally Shares the Stage

Meghan Ames and Christopher Kehoe will perform in Vashon Repertory Theatre’s production of “The Tempest,” by William Shakespeare.

Listen Up: UMO Ensemble Offers Epic Audio Series

The seven-part audio series will premiere on Voice of Vashon at 9 p.m. Sunday, July, 4.

What’s Happening July 1 – 8

Big summer blockbusters at Vashon Theatre, Drama Dock presents “ART,” and more.

A New Radio Play Has Vashon Written All Over It

The action takes place in 1986 on a thinly-veiled fictional island in Puget Sound.