In its 50th anniversary season, Pioneer Theatre Company presents William Shakespeare's The Tempest - in the year of the play's 400th anniversary. The classic tale of magic, love and revenge plays October 21 through November 5, 2011.
PTC Artistic Director Charles Morey directs the production. Coincidentally, The Tempest was also the first Shakespearean production he directed for PTC in 1985.
Highly stylized design for the show includes elements such as mechanical special effects for the illusionary feast and the storm that opens the show. Ethereal original musical compositions by guest artist Andrew Hopson also accompany the production.
Craig Wroe plays Prospero, the former Duke of Milan turned powerful sorcerer banished to a deserted island. Wroe appeared in London's West End in Miss Evers' Boys, and off-Broadway in numerous productions including Catch-22, An Oak Tree, Othello, The Tempest, The Winter's Tale and Richard II. He has appeared regionally in many theatres across the country and on television in such shows as Royal Pains, Rescue Me, Burn Notice, Third Watch, Ed, The Education of Max Bickford and many others. He was recently seen at PTC in productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, Our Town and Dracula.
EMILY TRASK plays Miranda, Prospero's naïve daughter who has grown up on the island. Trask has spent five seasons at the Utah Shakespeare Festival (Merchant of Venice, Hamlet, Henry V, The Secret Garden, The Matchmaker, and Great Expectations The Musical). She has appeared at The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Hope Summer Rep, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Next Act Theatre Co. and many others. A Yale School of Drama graduate, Trask makes her PTC debut in The Tempest.
Playing Ariel, Prospero's servant and aid, is Julia Motyka. Motyka appeared off-Broadway in the world premiere of We Got Issues (which was executive produced by Eve Ensler and Jane Fonda), as well as in The Last Starfighter: the Musical and The Golden Ladder. Other notable New York workshop credits include work for Roundabout, Primary Stages, EST, The Directors Company and Mabou Mines. This marks her PTC debut.
Another of Prospero's servants, the resentful monster Caliban, is played by Paul Kiernan. Kiernan has appeared at PTC in many productions including The Diary of Anne Frank, Hamlet and Twelve Angry Men, to name a few. He has also appeared at Salt Lake Acting Company and with Salt Lake Shakespeare, Pennsylvania Shakespeare, The Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, and many others. His TV and film credits include Disney's Luck of the Irish, The Maldonado Miracle, Ice Spiders and the HBO series From the Earth to the Moon.
The comic foils Trinculo and Stephano, jesters who fall in with Caliban, are played by John Plumpis and Jeff Brooks, respectively. Plumpis plays Christopher Plummer's prompter in the soon to be releasEd Barrymore, which premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. His national tour credits include The Lion King and Laughter on the 23rd Floor. He is a company member of New York's The Actors' Company Theatre, and has appeared at the Roundabout, Playwright's Horizons, Primary Stages, Mint Theater in New York, and regionally across the country. This is his PTC debut.
Brooks (playing Stephano) has appeared on Broadway as Cogsworth in Beauty and the Beast, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, Spider Malloy in Nick and Nora, Pastey in Gypsy with Tyne Daly, the Bellhop in Lend Me a Tenor (Outer Critics' Circle Award), Phil in Loose Ends with Kevin Kline, and Mickey in A History of the American Film. His numerous film and television credits include The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tenderness and Julie & Julia. He last appeared at PTC as Dolittle in My Fair Lady.
Playing Ferdinand, current heir to the throne and beloved by Miranda, is ANDY RINDLISBACH. A graduate of the University of Utah's Actor Training Program, Rindlisbach has appeared with Plan-B Theatre Company, Meat & Potato Theatre Company, Salt Lake Acting Company and Salt Lake Shakespeare. He was recently seen in PTC's productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, Hamlet, Our Town and Othello.
The shipwrecked party includes Alonso, Antonio, Sebastian, and the good lord Gonzalo. The roles are portrayed, respectively, by David McCann, John Leonard Thompson, Kurt Zischke and Noble Shropshire.
Rounding out the cast are ensemble members CHRISTOPHER GLADE, WARD CHAPMAN and RYON SHARETTE.
PTC's Artistic Director Charles Morey directs the production. Morey has directed over eighty productions for PTC since he joined the theatre in 1984, including the world premiere of Touch(ed), and the first regional productions of Les Misérables, The Producers, and The Vertical Hour. He is the author of nine plays including this season's upcoming comedy Laughing Stock. He is a Fellow of the MacDowell Colony.
Sound design and original compositions for the show were created by guest artist Andrew Hopson. In 2004, Hopson's New York debut, Trying, was rated one of the best off-Broadway shows of the year. In film, he has scored the documentaries Birth of Legends, The Battle of Comm Avenue, Hockey's Greatest Era 1942-1967, The Frozen Four and Utah's Olympic Legacy. He has produced, engineered or performed on more than 40 CDs ranging from stories for children to collections of modern American piano works.
Scenic design is by guest artist GARY M. ENGLISH. Currently head of the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut and Artistic Director of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre, English has designed scenery and costumes for off-Broadway, television and major theaters throughout the country. His awards include Best Design recognition by the Pittsburgh Press for The Odyssey and Sunday in the Park With George. His previous PTC designs include Hamlet, The Light in the Piazza and The Vertical Hour.
Susan Branch Towne returns to PTC to design costumes for this production after designing In, Hamlet, Our Town, A Chorus Line, Romeo and Juliet, My Fair Lady, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Chicago and many others. Among her New York credits are Griffelkin for New York City Opera and the off-Broadway productions of Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!, She Loves Me, Fortinbras and Two Gentlemen of Verona. Local audiences may know her work from the Utah Shakespeare Festival, where she designed during the 1996-1999 seasons.
Lighting design is by guest designer M.L. GEIGER. Off-Broadway Geiger has designed the lighting for I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Cabaret Verboten, The Learned Ladies, The Legend of Sharon Shashanova, Goose! Beyond the Nursery, The New Americans and The Red Sneaks. She also lit PTC's productions of Smokey Joe's Café, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Piano Lesson, Conversations with My Father and Lend Me a Tenor in previous seasons.
Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah's premier resident professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.