Revenge and Love in a Sea of Corn: Shakespeare's "The Tempest" at Creekside
October 1. 2013, By T.A. Bergin, The Lincoln College theatre department has stepped out of the metaphorical box and into the cornfield by staging their fall production of Shakepeare's "The Tempest" at Creekside, LC's Outdoor Center for Environment Education. A small stage in the corner of the activity area beyond the teaching pavillion becomes a Mediterranean isle where revenge is sought and won, and love triumphs amid great hijinks.
In the largely female cast, Prospero becomes Prospera, played by Alexa Maxey. While Prospera commands the action, drunken butler Stephano (Bobby Wilhelmson) and jester Trincula (Lauren Stanfield) steal many of the scenes. These three are aided by Kendall Katz who, despite running herself ragged playing both Ariel, the sprite, and Caliban, the beast, gives a delightfully animated performance in both roles. The balance of the cast is made up of LC theatre veterans Riley Dobson as Sebastian, India Stoddard as Antonia, and Angelique Tally as Gonzala, and a few talented newcomers: Chase Krones as King Alonso, Brett Nelson as Alonso's son Prince Ferdinand, and Tegan Follis who whole-heartedly embraces the role of Miranda, Prospera's daughter who falls in love with Ferdinand.
The cast softens Shakespeare's text with several humerous and well-placed ad-libs, and integrates a little modern technology to good comic effect. The musical homages to Blue Oyster Cult and Right Said Fred should be particularly amusing to audience members of a certain demographic. With the exception of a few romantic scenes between Ferdinand and Miranda, the show is mostly a bawdy, raucus good time occassionally interrupted by moments of conspiracy and vengeance.
As the sun sets colorfully over the cornfield, the evening performances are lit by solar lamps and tiki torches. Patrons who opt for the Sunday matinee performance will sacrifice the dramatic evening sky and stars for fewer mosquitos. It's a difficult choice. Either way, bring bug spray, an umbrella, and lawn chairs or blankets, and a flashlight for the evening shows. The play runs about 70 minutes with no intermission. The weather forecast is mostly favorable, but in case of rain the production will move back to the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts on the Lincoln campus.
"The Tempest" plays at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, October 2 to 5, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, October 6. Tickets are $5 for general admission and $1 for students; tickets may be reserved by calling the LC box office at (217) 732-3155 ext. 280. Creekside is about 5 minutes north of campus at 1234 County Road 2000N; signs will be posted along the route. Parking is limited, so carpooling is recommended.