October 4, 2004
I GRADUATED from Cardinal Dougherty. Then I spend eight years in the armed forces with every contingent of minority there is in this country. Everyone uses foul racial words against their own, and it is always OK. But if someone else outside the box even mentions one of those words, they apparently are wrong - and deserve punishment. As your article indicated, Dougherty's athletic director did not use the "n-word" to express his own thoughts, he repeated the regretful use of it by others regarding the school's football team.
June 30, 1999 |
The Tempest takes place on a mysterious island presided over by a puissant magician, and it is the strength of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival production of the play that the sense of place and character are established at the outset and maintained throughout. The storm and shipwreck that begin the play are impressively staged, and when the winds die, Prospero, the magician-ruler of the island who conjured the tempest, is revealed standing imperiously above everything, framed dramatically against a backdrop of craggy peaks.
April 24, 2006 |
The Tempest, Shakespeare's last play, is stuffed with juicy roles and theatrical opportunities: a magical island full of mysterious creatures, an exiled duke turned wizard, a shipwreck, a love story, and an enslaved sprite who casts spells on buffoons and drunks and fops and wicked aristocrats. It's a strange, gorgeous world. So it's an odd Tempest that takes place on a bare stage. Even odder, this latest production from Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival stars the monster Caliban.
January 28, 1993 |
No thunder and lightning, no alarums and hullabaloo attend the conjured shipwreck at the start of Shakespeare's valedictory masterpiece, The Tempest, in the revelatory Arden Theatre Company production that opened Tuesday for a month-long run. No shipwreck, in fact, is set before us - just a toy schooner, bobbing high above Hiroshi Iwasaki's draped and platformed set, that crosses from right to left until it is gently, silently plucked from its...
April 5, 2003 |
From the very beginning, the production of The Tempest by the Lantern Theater establishes that the play belongs to Prospero. Before the first scene's storm, we see Prospero sitting on a sort of natural throne built into the top of the hill suggested by Nick Embree's earthy, vine-covered set. From his perch, Prospero looms over the compact St. Stephen's Theater playing area, providing a strong visual reminder that nothing will occur in the play...
November 10, 1998 |
The most dispiriting sort of Shakespeare production isn't the one that's blatantly misconceived, nor the one in which the actors haven't the chops to execute an arresting overall idea. It's the one that appears not to have been conceived at all, the one that not only casts no fresh light on the play but also leaves the actors adrift in alien territory without signposts or landmarks. Such a production, unfortunately, is on view in the community hall of Holy Communion Lutheran Church, 2111 Sansom St., where the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival is staging The Tempest through Nov. 29. Directed by Eleanor Holdridge, this is not an awful Tempest; it's simply a dull and unnecessary one, presented on a three-quarters-round stage without a scrap of scenery save a wooden chest and, for a time, a blue ground cloth that the actors tend to trip over.
May 1, 2012 |
Theater companies cut Shakespeare to reflect casting, to indulge shortened attention spans, or to center the play on a director's artistic vision or insight, among other reasons. Curio Theatre's current production of The Tempest proves that a bit of risk lies in any of these approaches. And, like any gamble, it also hints at large, if quick, rewards. The Tempest's traditional three-hour run time presents one of Shakespeare's most straightforward plots. Courtly treachery dethroned Duke Prospero (Brian McCann)
February 13, 1997
Why is there a political tempest over U.S. funding for birth-control services in developing nations? Letting poor people limit the size of their families isn't just an anti-poverty policy - it can be a matter of life and death. UNICEF estimates that, globally, 600,000 women a year die from problems related to pregnancy. Yet a close vote is expected in the U.S. House today over how quickly to release the international family-planning funds that Congress approved last fall. That's because the issue of contraceptive services has become mired, wrongly, in the politics of abortion.
March 18, 1997 |
The opening scene of Louis Rackoff's new production of The Tempest, on view through April 12 at the People's Light & Theatre Company, makes you eager to see what follows. On a platform at stage right, the magician Prospero is writing the story you're about to witness, complete with stage directions and introductory dialogue: Master: Boatswain, - Boatswain: Here, master; what cheer? And immediately we hear those words shouted as a storm breaks, hurling master, boatswain, and their assorted passengers about the stage while Ariel, Prospero's sprite, conjures the thunder by rattling a tin sheet.
January 4, 2004 |
When black-nationalist icon Mumia Abu-Jamal calls for revolution, there is little chance he is thinking of Narberth, a cozy enclave on the Main Line that is 95 percent white. What passes for social upheaval here is an influx of upscale professionals from the city, the subsequent opening of a French pastry shop, and, for the first time in 100 years, a Democratic majority on the Borough Council. Yet it is here that alleged loyalties to the left-wing "Free Mumia" movement have triggered what the mayor calls the worst political crisis in 20 years - one that threatens to take all the nastiness of the liberal-conservative culture wars to neighborly Narberth, which has a population of 4,200.