About the Playwright:
Gillette Elvgren has been writing for over thirty years, his plays have been produced by professional theatre companies throughout the United States and Canada. He is co-founder and resident playwright for Saltworks Theatre Company in Pittsburgh, PA., as well as being resident writer for Children's Ministries, Scripture Union, Philadelphia, PA. There have been approximately 8,000 performances of Elvgren scripts.
While a Professor at the University of Pittsburgh he was head of the M.F.A. directing program and staff director for the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival. Presently he is a Professor in Theatre Arts at Regent University, Virginia Beach.
An Adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romance
by Gillette Elvgren
About the Play:
This version of the story has all the exciting elements: shipwrecks, a love story, an evil plot, and the fun exploits of the spirits Ariel and her adversary, the rebellious fish-man, Caliban. A must-see for young audiences. The play was first presented by the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival Young Company.
CAST OF CHARACTERS: (Four men and two women with doubling )
PROSPERO .................. the deposed Duke of Milan
ANTONIO .......... his brother, the one who did the deposing
MIRANDA ..................... Prospero's daughter
ARIEL .......................... A Sprite
CALIBAN .................... Half fish and half man
FERDINAND ............... A Prince of the city of Naples
Time: 50 minutes.
Place: Prospero’s deserted isle.
From the Play:
(The following is a story theatre sequence which will get us into the drama. From now on the actors will be titled by their character names.)
PROSPERO: Once upon a time there lived a Duke named Prospero. A Duke of the City of Milan. A Duke of the city of Milan in Italy.
ANTONIO: But he loved his library, his old magical books more than ruling his city.
(Hands him a book.)
PROSPERO: My library is Dukedom large enough for me. So I allowed by brother Antonio to rule in my stead.
ANTONIO: (Taking crown) I'll take that.
PROSPERO: And as he ruled his ambition grew . . .
ANTONIO: Look at him, studying away, whilst I do all the work.
PROSPERO: And grew. . .
ANTONIO: Officially I'm not the Duke, but I do everything the Duke ought to be doing.
PROSPERO: And grew until he did believe he was indeed the Duke.
ANTONIO: I am the Duke indeed. And now, to be rid of him.
(Speaks to CALIBAN/ACTOR who is a lackey.)
At midnight, capture Prospero . . .
CALIBAN: I've got him. (grabbing PROSPERO)
ANTONIO: And his daughter, Miranda.
(CALIBAN/ACTOR grabs MIRANDA, stands her next to PROSPERO.)
ANTONIO: His baby daughter Miranda.
MIRANDA: I can't play me as a baby. I'm too big. Nobody'll believe it.
ANTONIO: Here, this is you as a baby.
(Passes baby bundle on to PROSPERO.)
And he captures Prospero's baby daughter, too.
CALIBAN: I've got 'em both.
ANTONIO: And takes them to a ship and sails them far out to sea.
CALIBAN: On board with you now—get.
PROSPERO: And in the dead of darkness the ship did rock.
ANTONIO: And Antonio did laugh. (He does so.)
MIRANDA: And the baby did cry. (She does so.)
CALIBAN: And I did do my duty. Alright, we've gone far enough— it's over the side with ye now, into this rowboat here. It be a rotten carcass of a bark.
PROSPERO: It has no sail, nor tackle, nor mast. Surely we shall die.
CALIBAN: That's the point mate.
PROSPERO: Don't cast me off without my books.
CALIBAN: (Throwing him books.) Why not? You can't eat books. You can't row with the books now then can you? Food for the fish, that's what they be. Off with you now.
PROSPERO: We cried to the sea that roared to us. And the wind sighed to us.
(CALIBAN does these things.)
And finally by Providence Divine we were washed ashore here, on this desert isle.