The bold collision of text with extraordinary objects and imagery ignites this muscular, innovative retelling of Shakespeare's lyrical tale, darkly imagined in the transformative space Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Prospero's illusory island sets the stage for The Feast: an intimate Tempest brought to life by three actors, a menagerie of handcrafted puppets, original music and hypnotic animations. Possibilities abound as Ariel and Caliban sit down at their captor's dinner table to assert their independence and petition for freedom.
Approximate Running Time: 70 minutes, no intermission
Programming in the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare is made possible through generous support from Hyatt Hotels Corporation.
Additional support provided by the Nicholas and Mary Babson Fund to Support Chicago Actors.
A large table nearly fills the stage. Native to this island, Caliban and the spirit Ariel sit in chains at their captor's dinner table, where Prospero commands that they retell, once more, his story—the story of The Tempest which brought him to this island, where for years he has ruled over them. The two unwillingly begin, and with the help of a menagerie of puppets and extraordinary objects of "rough magic," the other characters from this story take shape, one by one...
Prospero, Duke of Milan, is overthrown by his brother Antonio and cast to sea with his young daughter Miranda. Reaching the safety of a lonely enchanted island, inhabited by strange creatures and spirits, Prospero uses his magic art to rule over Ariel and Caliban. Twelve years later, Prospero turns his magic toward revenge, conjuring up a terrible storm at sea and causing the shipwreck of the boat carrying the same men who betrayed him—his brother Antonio and Alonso, King of Naples, along with the king's power-hungry brother Sebastian. With Prospero pulling their strings of fate, the castaways reach the island safely. Fearing his son Ferdinand drowned, Alonso sets out in search of him. Sebastian plots to kill his brother, while Caliban teams up with two drunken servants in a plan to kill Prospero and seize the island back from him. With Ariel's help, Prospero settles the score with his enemies—surprising all with the power he discovers in his hands and heart.