‘The Tempest’ storms CMC stage
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” “The Tempest,” opening Friday at Colorado Mountain College’s New Space Theatre in Spring Valley, literally opens with a bang – a wild storm complete with thunder and lightning.
The play, running through May 5, then moves between chaos and order along a path only William Shakespeare could have imagined.
“The challenge with Shakespeare is capturing the elusive magic that makes his plays unparalleled,” said director Tom Cochran, professor of theater at CMC. “Yes, the language is beautiful, and the plotting brilliant, but there’s something beyond the intellectual that can only be captured in live performance.”
The theme of magic is central to “The Tempest.” Prospero, the protagonist, is a practitioner of the magical arts, capable of changing not only patterns of weather but also the course of human lives. In Shakespeare’s idyllic island setting, Prospero’s intention is always to deliver his daughter’s fondest wishes – and his fondest wishes for her.
“Prospero is first and foremost a dad, who has the opportunity to give his daughter, Miranda, everything he wants her to have,” said veteran actor Bob Moore, who plays Prospero in the CMC production.
Although he has been betrayed and abandoned, Prospero strives always to turn his situation to the good, seeking another kind of magical transformation.
“In this play, Shakespeare runs the gamut, playing with the viewer using humor and pathos, intellectual conceits and dirty puns,” he said. “He’s a master juggler – the sequence and plotting are pure brilliance.”
The cast features local favorites Bob Moore, Mike Banks and Bob Willey as Alonzo and Gonzolo. Hannah Grenfell, of Mesa State College, plays Ariel, while China Kwan portrays Calaban. CMC student Joe Trautman, who is headed to New York University next fall, plays Ferdinand, and Cara Wilson of Carbondale fills the role of Miranda.
Moore says “The Tempest” offers something for everyone – “action, love, drunken ribaldry, attempted murder, swashbuckling swordplay and fatherly devotion.”
“The Tempest” is also one Shakespearean play Cochran has yet to direct in his long-standing career. In December, Cochran will retire from 26 years of teaching at CMC. The play is the last he’ll direct for the college before his retirement.
“It only seemed right I should go out with a storm,” Cochran said.
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