Shakespeare club and other interested students went downtown to the Chicago Shakespeare Theater to see a rendition of the Shakespeare play “The Tempest.”
“The Tempest” primarily revolves around Prospero, a nobleman graced with magical abilities, plotting revenge on the men who overthrew his rule years ago. When his enemies are stranded on the island he’s been banished to, he begins to punish them for what they have done.
Since Prospero is a sorcerer, there were many magic tricks scattered throughout the play. The producers required a masterful hand to execute the tricks within such close quarters to the audience and still keep them in awe. Fortunately, one of the directors, a world renowned magician named Raymond Teller, made his theatrical debut this year.
In the past, he has performed as a part of the Penn and Teller duo. He had an extremely successful career primarily taking place in Las Vegas. According to their website pennandteller.net, he had a television program that was nominated for thirteen Emmys, and they won the title “Las Vegas Magicians of the Year.”
Shakespeare club sponsor, Rita Sayre said the magic tricks were particularly astonishing.
“I have never seen professional magic done when we were so close to it. Normally, you see it on TV or really far away, but this is really, really cool.”
Shakespearean literature is notorious for confusing word choice. English has changed over time, and these pieces were written hundreds of years ago. It is no surprise that the majority of the population has trouble comprehending this seemingly foreign language. The students found it did not hinder their understanding of the plot by much.
Jennifer Bhasker, a sophomore who saw the play, said, “Even though you can’t understand half of the stuff they’re saying, you can figure it out by watching their expressions and body language.”
Sophomore Aena Patel, a student who went on the trip, said she enjoyed it because, “It made me laugh, and it also had some deeper, more heartfelt moments, but there also were some mesmerizing moments of magic.”
The students had a special opportunity this year. Eight students were able to sit on the stage during the production.
Sayre said, “There were only about twenty-four people who got that opportunity. They literally were within touching distance of the actors.”
Additionally, they were able to talk with some of the actors after the production. They had a small miniature question and answer session, met most of the actors and took pictures with them.
The Chicago Shakespeare Theater website said that the two and a half hour play will continue to show at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater until November 8, 2015. Interested parties can purchase tickets for $48 at the lowest price. If someone were interested in seeing a different production, the next Shakespearean play will be Othello, which is scheduled to come out in the spring.