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John Kinzer
IU Department of Theatre and Drama

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, April 16, 2009

South African performers to join IU student actors in Shakespeare’s classic 'The Tempest'

WHAT: IU Department of Theatre and Drama's The Tempest
WHEN: Opens Wednesday, May 6, with additional performances May 7-9, all at 7:30 p.m.
WHERE: Wells-Metz stage at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center
TICKETS: $15 and $10 for students. Call the box office for details on group ticket prices. For ticket information, call 812-855-1103 and ask for information about Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center tickets or purchase in person at the IU Auditorium box office Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center box office, which opens one hour before curtain. To purchase tickets by phone, call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or buy online at

April 16, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A cast of student actors from South Africa and Indiana University's Department of Theatre and Drama will perform William Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest, at the Lee Norvelle Theatre and Drama Center from May 6 through May 9.

The production will be directed by South Africa-native Murray McGibbon, an award-winning IU faculty member in the Department of Theatre and Drama.

This play is considered Shakespeare's most romantic and lyrical play, telling a timeless story of power struggle, isolation and first love, said John Kinzer, director of audience development at Theatre and Drama. "This production will resonate with today's audience with its examination of what it means to be human."


A scene from "The Tempest," which will be staged by the IU Department of Theatre and Drama from May 6-9.

Print-Quality Photo

The Tempest tells the story of a magician, Prospero, who has been banished to a desert isle with his daughter, Miranda. As Prospero awaits the moment he can return to power, the very people who dethroned him become shipwrecked with him and Miranda. Prospero uses his magic to restore order while Miranda finds true love with one of the castaways.

"The play's themes of redemption, forgiveness and reconciliation can speak to a contemporary audience," said McGibbon. "The political parallels are especially resonant, as one ruling system replaces another and hope emerges."

After staging the play two years ago in South Africa with many of the same actors, McGibbon is thrilled to bring the production to Bloomington.

"As with the original production, the play will be set on an imaginary island off the coast of KwaZulu-Natal and will fuse music, dance and drama traditions of South Africa with European and American ones to create a richly diverse performing art style," said McGibbon.

The cast features a mix of students from IU and from the University of KwaZulu/Natal's Department of Drama Studies in South Africa, along with professional South African actor Stephen Gurney in the role of Prospero. Additional cast members include IU senior Alyson Bloom as Miranda, Master of Fine Arts in voice candidate Carmund White as Caliban, senior Michael Aguirre as Ferdinand, and South African Mlondolozi Zondi as Ariel.

For more information on IU's Department of Theatre and Drama, see