ISC’s latest outdoor production of The Tempest should remind us all of how much we’ve missed experiencing the magic of theatre shared with strangers,. Mindful of Covid restrictions, ISC has, nonetheless, crafted a compelling compilation of scenes making up one of Shakespeare’s most cinematic plays.
While they await their permanent location in Griffith Park, the company has chosen a charming dell nearby that suits the play perfectly. In a series of stepped platforms, the play unfolds, from the shipwreck on the beach (read, the forestage) to Prospero’s chambers (stage right), and on to Caliban’s lair (downstage), situated in a natural rocky cul-de-sac; all stages reinforce Shakespeare’s expansive story.
The Independent Shakespeare Company’s expanding core of actors, most notably co-founder David Melville, and the versatile Patrick Batiste are on hand to tell the tale. The tale revolves around the love story of sweet Miranda (Carina Merkertichyan) finding the prince charming of her dreams in young Ferdinand (Batiste), engineered in part by her father the exiled Prospero (Melville) and his “dainty” Ariel (Paul Turbiack).
For many, the appeal of the misshapen Caliban (Jose Acain) lies in his identification as a “native” of the island. Although fanciful, scholars often note a shipwreck in the New World that took place around the same time Shakespeare was writing to demonstrate how he kept current affairs in mind as he composed his fantasies.
Since, despite free admission, Covid restrictions make reservations required, do not hesitate to reserve your spots for the last weekend of this charming production under the stars.
For one more weekend, Independent Shakespeare Co. emerges out of the Covid Shut-down with The Tempest performing at 7:00 pm, Wednesday through Sunday, September 5th in the dell at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. Follow the signs to find the location from the Zoo turn-off. Tickets are free, but you must reserve your “pod.” at https://www.iscla.org, or phone 818-710-6306 for information.