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Campus Pick: Shakespeare group works toward The Tempest

Adriane Chapman--The Tech
Stephen P. Yang '98 (left) and Young E. Kim '98 (right) perform in one of MIT Shakespeare Ensemble's sketches, part of preparation for a spring production of The Tempest.

The Calm Before the Storm: A Night of Scenes

MITShakespeare Ensemble.

Directed by Kermit Dunkleberg.

Little Kresge.

Friday and Saturday, 8:00 p.m.

By Craig K. Chang
Arts Editor

Big productions evolve in careful steps. This weekend, the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble will give audiences a dynamic snapshot of their progress with the immense task of producing William Shakespeare's The Tempest for next spring. Titled The Calm Before the Storm, the program previews the focus of ensemble members preparing for next spring by exploring thematic ground about The Tempest. From Shakespeare are scenes from Cymbeline and Pericles. The performance also includes scenes from Tadeusz Rozewicz's Marriage Blanc and Charles Ludlam's Bluebeard.

Scenes directed and chosen by members of the theater arts section of the Department of Humanities comprise the program of dramatic shorts, which is overseen by consulting director Kermit Dunkleberg. Watch for in the cast: Orin J. Percus G and Jennifer T. Nickel '96 in Cymbeline; Virginia J. Buhr '98 and Poria L. Vescio '96 in Marriage Blanc; Robert J. Pensalfini G, Fernando J. Paiz '98, and Brenda A. Pendleton '97 in Pericles; and Pensalfini, Young E. Kim '98, and Steven P. Yang '98 in Bluebeard.

All the preparation for this production strives toward successful execution of The Tempest's technical complexity. The completed production next spring looks to be like the daring experimental theater of previous years, like the ensemble's collaboration with music and theater arts dance classes two years ago. This year, the MIT Gamelan Galak Tika will provide music, while shadow puppets will provide effects for Prospero's magic. Already, Gamelan's dancer/choreographer I Nyoman Catra has worked with ensemble members. The Calm Before the Storm is the ensemble's final work towards The Tempest, whetting audiences' curiosity until the spring's storm.