William Shakespeare “The Tempest” was interpreted by Utah Valley University and by the UH Department of Theatre & Dance” at Kennedy Theatre. Both interpretations had varying techniques in which they chose to showcase “The Tempest”, as well as unique design schemes. I personally enjoyed and prefered the UVU’s interpretation over the Balinese production. Utah university’s interpretation of the “The Tempest” used costume depictions true to the characters, audio production to emphasize the voices and overall used a very elegant flow to the characters.
I loved how they used the lighting in unison with the emotional direction of the actors. This really helped to give the audience a visual carnival of tone and expression. The stage crew performed Act I, scene ii, lines 187 – 375. This is the section that begins as Prospero lulls Miranda to sleep and beckons Ariel to come to him. I felt that they made clear to the audience exactly what was taking place as well as portraying the original text correctly and beautifully. Diving deeper into when the actual production was taken place, it was created during the age of exploration in the seventeenth century. Throughout the play there is an obvious influence of imperialism and colonialism within the characters and their actions.
Practically every act consists of a person holding power and authority while another person is subjected to their dominance. An example of this is the exploitation of the natives done by the European colonists and explorers. Prospero represents European societies while Caliban (the islands native) is made a servant to Prospero. Thus, Shakespeare’s purpose in writing this famous piece is a mix of art and culture as well as divinity, freedom, confinement, betrayal and an array of basic human emotions. All of these factors were molded to create this masterpiece. “The Tempest” is a physical manifestation of human conflicts hidden behind mystical beings on unknown unexplored lands. The deeper meaning is easily seen behind the veil from everything from the characters positions, conflicts to the very setting. Although the piece is old, it still universally translates to situations in everyone’s life.