Tempest, theatre’s first major production since before COVID-19, opens its doors on Oct. 7. And while last year, the theatre department produced some modified plays, it wasn’t the same. 

Tempest is a tragic comedy, and also the last play Shakespeare ever wrote, completed a week before his death. Johnson theatre’s rendition is in the style of Hadestown, which is set in 1920’s America. 

“I think what makes our version of The Tempest so fun is that we have really tried to show the magical side of the Tempest because it gives us a lot of opportunity to use all of the special effects that we have in the auditorium now that we can do live shows,” theatre director Megan Thompson said.  

Last year’s theatre production, Much Ado About Nothing, had very limited special effects as it was performed in the courtyard. 

“We got some brand new moving lights this year, we’re using them for our thunderstorm; we’re using them for our magical effects. We have a hazer which puts haze into the air and lets you see the beams of light. We have fog machines, we have massive sound effects,” Thompson said.  “We have all of these magical elements that we’re able to use with this show to create this wonderful environment for these actors to live in as well as we’re able to use it to take you on a journey and show you the story in a way that’s entertaining and cool.” 

The show will also feature a quartet of string players, who are on stage and in costume the whole play.

“It’s a lot easier to understand than most Shakespeare plays, because Shakespeare decided he wasn’t going to be as pretentious with his wording. It’s a lot more comedic, he didn’t take himself too seriously,” junior Tyson Barr said.  “It doesn’t get nearly as complicated as other Shakespeare shows.”

Barr plays Sebastian, the king’s brother in the production, and knows that sometimes Shakespeare can be challenging.

Tickets can be purchased online or in the cafeteria during all three lunches, and the show is running Oct. 7 through 9 at p.m., and on Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. 

 “It’s gonna be easier to find the tickets online, you go to the website, type in how many tickets you need, and they’re emailed to you. It’s quick and you can do it anytime,” said Barr.

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