LOGAN – The Theatre Arts Program at Utah State University is pulling out all the stops to make its upcoming production of The Tempest by William Shakespeare a memorable occasion for its cast, crews and audiences.

The show — which is set to be performed April 12 to 20 — is being directed by Paul T. Mitri, a USU professor of Theatre Arts.

He was the driving force behind last summer’s acclaimed production of the Bard’s Twelfth Night by the Lyric Repertory Company, which featured an updated setting, lavish costuming and a stylish musical score from the 1930s.

The Tempest will also be a final opportunity for many of the university’s graduating seniors to perform for local audiences one last time.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working on The Tempest before in a myriad of ways,” says Mitri, who was one of the founders of the Seattle Shakespeare Company prior to joining the faculty at USU. “But this is one of my favorites.

The Tempest was chosen as part of our (2023-24) season because of the design opportunities it afforded for our wonderful design/tech teams and for the myriad of its acting roles …”

The selection of The Tempest was also appropriate because the play has theatrical overtones in its text and themes, according to dramaturg Mary Newton.

The Tempest was one of the last plays that Shakespeare ever wrote …” she explains. “On a surface level, it’s a story about a shipwreck on a strange and magical island.

“But a second glance reveals that the show is – at least partially – about the theatre. It’s easy to imagine the Bard speaking through the play’s protagonist, Prospero, to detail the bittersweet experience of concluding a life devoted to the arts.”

The performers filling Mitri’s myriad of roles will include veteran, departing USU actors Sumner Jones Shoell as Prospero, the exiled Duke of Milan and a magician; Timo Rasmussen as Alonso, the King of Naples; Harmon Roy Jackson as Antonio, the usurping brother of Prospero; Levi Hopkins as Ferdinand, the prince of Naples; Ryan Adams as Sebastian, the younger brother of Alonso; Brynn Francis as Stephano, a butler; and Mason Lorenzo Garcia as Gonzalo, a trusted advisor.

Also in the cast are Mia Gatherum as Miranda, the daughter of Prospero; Ethan Shaw as Caliban, the monstrous slave of Prospero; Ariana Whatcott as Francisco, a courtier from Naples; and Marin Robison as Trinculo, the jester to Alonso.

Actresses Ollie Chieppa, Megan Christiansen, Willoughby Stanley and Es Barnes will share the vital role of the fairy Ariel in The Tempest.

All performances of The Tempest will be staged in the Morgan Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the USU campus.

Evening performances of the play at 7:30 p.m. nightly are slated for April 12 and 13 as well as April 17 to 20.

A matinee performance is also slated for April 13 at 1 p.m.

Tickets for The Tempest can be purchased at the USU Box Office in the Chase Fine Arts Center or by going online to https://utahstateaggies.evenue.net/events/UM

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