World premiere of ‘Prospero’s Storm’ opens Jan. 14 for young audiences

Prospero’s Storm
The Theatre School at DePaul University will present the world premiere of “Prospero’s Storm,” adapted and directed by Damon Kiely, with music and lyrics by Mark Elliott, based on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It is the second installment of the 2015-16 season of Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences. (Grip Design artwork)
​​​​​CHICAGO — The Theatre School at DePaul University will present the world premiere of “Prospero’s Storm,” adapted and directed by Damon Kiely, with music and lyrics by Mark Elliott, based on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It is the second installment of the 2015-16 season of Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences. ”Prospero’s Storm” premieres Jan. 14 and runs through Feb. 20 at the Merle Reskin Theatre in Chicago’s South Loop.

“Prospero’s Storm is a family-friendly introduction to Shakespeare’s most fantastic and magical story,” said Kiely. “By using music, movement, pantomime, puppets and magic to tell the story of Prospero’s journey from angry dad to loving and merciful father, we’re able to bring the youngest audience members into the story — while still treating them to Shakespeare’s famous beautiful language. It’s a feast for the mind, ear, eye and heart.”

“Prospero’s Storm” is the tale of the wizard who sought revenge on his enemies with a sea tempest but through the power of love, learned mercy, forbearance and ultimate wisdom. The play is recommended for ages 8 and older. Wizard Prospero wields crashing sea-storms, airy spirits, savage ghost hounds and terrifying creatures to exact revenge on his enemies — trapping them on his magical island. Will he learn mercy from his teenage daughter or sink everyone into the sea? This vaudeville adaptation of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” uses puppets, singing, slapstick and magic to weave an enchanting tale of fatherhood and forgiveness.

Complimentary teacher guides for “Prospero’s Storm” are available online for educators and interested audience members. These include activities and discussions for before and after the performance, which highlight core learning goals. Themes from this production include: adaptation, forgiveness and revenge, justice, literature, magic, men vs. monsters, power and control, and Shakespeare.

Performances for “Prospero’s Storm” are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Special Friday performances at 10 a.m. will occur Feb. 5 and 12. A Sunday performance will be held Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. There is no Saturday performance Feb. 6.

The performances on Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. and Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. will be interpreted in American Sign Language. For additional information call TTY at 773-325-7975.

Jan. 16 is United Service Organizations of Illinois Day. U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families, with a valid military ID, may attend the performance for free. Visit www.tixfortroops.org to reserve tickets or call 312-922-1999 for more information.

There will be a post-performance autograph session with the cast after the show on Jan. 16. The performances on Jan. 28 and Feb. 13 will be followed by a post-show discussion. Visit http://theatre.depaul.edu or call the box office for more information.

Tickets are $10. Subscriptions and group rates for 15 or more people are available. DePaul employees, alumni and college students receive a discount with a valid ID. Tickets are available online or by calling the box office at 312-922-1999. If patrons require wheelchair accessible or companion seating, or have hearing or vision needs, please let the box office staff know when reserving tickets.

DePaul’s Merle Reskin Theatre is located at 60 E. Balbo Drive at Michigan Avenue. For parking and transportation information, contact the box office.

The cast features Chloe Baldwin (Mother/Spirit), Michael Buono (Stephano), Clint Campbell (Caliban), William Delforge (Antonio), Elsa Guenther (Trincula), Rebecca Keeshin (Crone/Spirit), Nikhaar Kishnani (Gonzala), Jolie Lepselter (Sebastienne), JJ McGlone (Alonso), Jordyn Prince (Boson/Spirit), Gail Tierney (Ariel), Dominique Watkins (Ferdinand), Adam Welsh (Prospero) and Raven Whitley (Miranda).

The production staff includes Damon Kiely (adapter and director), Mark Elliott (music and lyrics), Mara Zinky (scenic design), Sydney Dufka (costume design), Toria Gibson (lighting design), Connor Wang (sound design), Abigail Ogrentz (dramaturgy) and Jackson Walsh (stage management).

About the director: Damon Kiely is the chair of performance at The Theatre School. He has directed for Next Theatre, TimeLine Theatre Company, A Red Orchid Theatre, American Blues Theatre, Chicago Dramatists and Route 66. He served as the artistic director of American Theater Company from 2002 to 2007, where he directed “Oklahoma!” “The Dark at the Top of the Stairs,” “Orpheus Descending,” “A View from the Bridge,” “Strictly Dishonorable” and “The Hairy Ape.”

Theatre School credits at DePaul include “There's a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Medea,” “Thieves Like Us,” “Haroun and the Sea of Stories,” “Nancy Drew and the Sign of the Twisted Candles,” “Spring Awakening” and “Our Town.” In New York he directed for the Public Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, Ontological Theater, Adobe Theater Company, PS122, Ensemble Studio Theater and New Dramatists. He served as the artistic director for Real Time Theater, producing director at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater and associate artistic director for the Children’s Theater of Maine. 

Kiely received a MFA from Columbia University and an undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago. He lives in Chicago with his family.

The Theatre School at DePaul University educates, trains and inspires students of theatre in a conservatory setting that is rigorous, disciplined and culturally diverse. As an integral part of the training, The Theatre School produces public programs and performances from a wide repertoire of classic, contemporary and original plays that challenge, entertain, and stimulate the imagination. Additional information at http://theatre.depaul.edu.

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Media Contact:
Andrea Tichy
atichy@depaul.edu​
773-325-7819