Will Call #31 — “The Tempest: A Gyre” at Williams College
Erica Dankmeyer, Artist-in-Residence in Dance, and Janine Parker, Artist-in-Residence in Dance, are choreographing dance scenes that have been integrated into the play; seven student dancers from Contemporary Dance Ensemble (CoDa) will perform.
The Tempest: A Gyre
Directed by Jean-Bernard Bucky
Choreographed by Erica Dankmeyer & Janine Parker
Music Directed by Matthew Gold
Adams Memorial Theatre, 62 Center for Theatre and Dance
November 12, 13, & 14 at 7:30 p.m.
$3 Tickets can be ordered online or by phone: (413) 597-2425
The live music accompanying the dances (and used throughout, as leitmotifs) will be performed by WiPE, the Williams Percussion Ensemble. WiPE is directed by Matthew Gold, who will also be conducting the musicians during the shows; the compositions used throughout are by John Luther Adams (excerpts from the three drum quartets from Adams’ “Earth and the Great Weather”) as well as original music composed for this production by Williams alum Brian Simalchik.
Costumes have been designed by Williams’ costume shop supervisor Barbara A. Bell; set design is by William’s associate professor of theatre David Gurcay-Morris; lighting design is by Jeff Bruckerhoff.
And the play is directed by William’s wonderful professor of theatre emeritus Jean-Bernard Bucky.
This new version of The Tempest features an innovative collaboration between Williams Theatre, CoDa , and WiPE (Williams Percussion Ensemble). Encompassing many dramatic themes: jealousy, betrayal, revenge, sexual desire, romantic love, power, forgiveness, The Tempest is often seen as conscious of its own existence as a play, provocatively examining theatrical illusion and the creation of “art.” The Tempest takes place on an enchanted island where Prospero, the deposed Duke of Milan, lives in exile with his daughter Miranda. Dwelling on the island with them are Prospero’s slave-spirit, Ariel, and the depraved witch’s son, Caliban. Prospero’s sorcery, performing much of the stage-magic of the play through his agent Ariel, moves the plot forward through elaborate stage effects and the most magical presence of all: a hypnotic atmosphere suffused by music. Caliban declares that the isle is “full of noises,” and it is both the sonic life of the play and the magic manifested throughout that inspires the contribution of live music and dance in this production.