“The Tempest:” SUU TDAA’s First In-Person Show Since March 2020

The Southern Utah University Department of Theatre, Dance, and Arts Administration performed their first live, in-person production  of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on Friday, Oct. 1. in the Engelstad Theater. The highly anticipated show was attended by over 700 people including SUU students, community members and several high school groups from around the state.

“The Tempest” is a story of magic, betrayal, love and forgiveness. The story follows Prospero, who uses magic to conjure a storm and torment the survivors of a shipwreck, including the King of Naples and Prospero’s treacherous brother, Antonio. Peter Sham, an SUU Theater Arts professor, directed the show.

“For me, this play is filled with magic: the magic of myth and legend, of betrayal, forgiveness, repentance, and ultimately hope,” said Sham. “I believe the ideas and themes of this play have never been timelier than right now, in this tempest in history filled with lost hope and division.”

“This has been, by far, the most difficult part I’ve ever had, but it’s also thrilling in so many ways,” said Prospero actor Elise Thayn. “To be able to take on a role like Prospero and learn from this show has truly been a gift.”

The undergraduate cast and crew of the play have taken precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at rehearsals and performances. The cast was asked to be vaccinated, and each member was required to be tested weekly and wear masks at rehearsals.

“It’s really, really fun being back and performing for live people again,” said Luca Smith, who played Miranda. “It’s the best part of being onstage, that interaction and energy that comes with live theater.”

There will be four more showings of “The Tempest” on Oct. 4, 7, 8 and 9. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for alumni with card, and $5 for youth. SUU faculty, staff and students can attend for free with a valid ID card. Tickets can be purchased at the America First Event Center Box Office, at the door the night of the performance, or online at www.suu.edu/arts.

Story by: Aspen English
Photo courtesy of SUU TDAA