Prospero, on our island

Photos courtesy of NY Classical Theatre Before Sandy: Battery Park, 2012.

Photos courtesy of NY Classical Theatre
Before Sandy: Battery Park, 2012.

NY Classical Theatre brings the Bard to Battery Park

BY SCOTT STIFFLER  |  When it comes to finding the perfect spot for their outdoor staging of “The Tempest,” New York Classical Theatre sure nailed it when they chose the Lower Manhattan waterfront. The tip of our island, with its pitch-perfect set pieces (Castle Clinton, the Statue of Liberty and the dramatic sunsets behind New York Harbor) brings both thematic relevance and geographic resonance to Shakespeare’s tale of an exiled magician, his daughter and a very uneasy family reunion, courtesy of a shipwrecked manufactured by the revenge-minded Prospero.

“Half surrounded by water and steeped in history, Battery Park is the perfect setting for Shakespeare’s most magical, otherworldly play,” declares New York Classical Theatre founder and artistic director Stephen Burdman of the company’s bold, roving production — the first Off-Broadway endeavor to take place at (and around) Castle Clinton since the historic site’s re-opening following Superstorm Sandy.

Will the castaways of Prospero’s island be so lucky when it comes to reinvention and redemption? New York Classical Theatre isn’t saying — but the troupe of roving players does note that their interpretation sets the action in the Victorian era, “when the onset of the Industrial Revolution inspired a countervailing renaissance in spiritualism and a penchant for all things occult.”

For younger audience members who may be new to the play, free educational workshops before selected performances will guide children 7-11 and their families through games and exercises designed to help them better understand the action as it unfolds on a stage — which, in this case, is all the world (of Lower Manhattan).

Central Park, 2012.

Central Park, 2012.

 

THEATER
SHAKESPEARE’S  THE TEMPEST
A NEW YORK CLASSICAL THEATRE PRODUCTION

Directed by Sean Hagerty
Production Design by Mike Floyd

Free
At Battery Park (meet in front of Castle Clinton)
July 11-Aug. 4
Tues.-Sun., at 7pm
Family Workshops: July 20, 21,
27 & 28 at 5pm
For info: 212-252-4531
or newyorkclassical.org

 

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