Delaware Shakespeare will soon be back in full production mode at Rockwood Park to present “The Tempest,” Shakespeare’s magical tale of forgiveness and family. After two years of producing smaller-scale offerings, Del Shakes resumes this beloved signature program July 15-31, offering family-friendly entertainment in a picnic-perfect setting.  

“The Tempest,” widely considered to be the last play William Shakespeare wrote as a solo playwright, is a magical tale of forgiveness and family. It begins with the titular storm which Prospero conjures to bring his enemies to the island where he lives. Twelve years before the events of the play, Prospero was overthrown as Duke of Milan by his brother, Antonio, and the Queen of Naples. He escaped, with his daughter Miranda, to a remote island where he spent the intervening years learning magic and plotting revenge.  

Now that his enemies are within reach, will Prospero enact his long-awaited revenge?  

Will the blossoming love between Miranda and Ferdinand (the Queen of Naples’ son) lead to forgiveness?  

Will Prospero keep his promise to free Ariel, his spirit servant?  

And how will this affect Caliban, the lone inhabitant of the island when Prospero arrived, whom Prospero imprisoned and forced to do manual labor? 

Producing Artistic Director David Stradley directs his favorite play in Shakespeare’s canon. “We had originally planned to present ’The Tempest‘ in 2020, so this story has been simmering in the back of my mind for quite some time. The play asks us to consider what we do when someone has wronged us and also how we respond when we have wronged someone else. These are powerful questions to consider as a community. But there is also love, magic, and drunken sailors!” 

Prospero will be played by Jolie Garrett, who makes his Del Shakes debut this summer. Garrett has performed in Shakespeare productions all over the country, including at Shakespeare Theatre Company (D.C.), Shakespeare in Delaware Park (Buffalo), and Arkansas Rep.  

Jessica Money returns to Del Shakes after starring in last summer’s “Midsummer Mixtape” to play Miranda, fresh off a triumph in in “School Girls” at Arden Theatre Company. Lexi Thammavong appeared in last summer’s fascinating “Rosalind x 3” and this summer will appear as Ariel, after recently closing the laugh-filled “This Is The Week That Is” at 1812 Productions. The company also includes Del Shakes’ Artistic Squad members Eric Mills and Rachel O’Hanlon-Rodriguez as Antonio and Stephano, respectively. Gerrard Alex Taylor, former Associate Artistic Director at Baltimore’s Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, will join Del Shakes for the first time to play Caliban. 

This summer, Del Shakes is offering the new Pay-What-You-Decide tickets to help remove financial barriers to access the arts. Patrons are invited to pick their own price level, $10, $20, or $30. A limited number of pre-placed lawn chairs are available in reserved locations on a nightly basis, with a $42 Saved Seat ticket. Children five and under are admitted free every night. Children twelve and under are admitted free on Sundays when accompanied by a paid adult admission. 

 

About Delaware Shakespeare: 

Now in its 20th season, Delaware Shakespeare creates year-round professional theatre and educational programs for residents and friends of the State of Delaware. At Del Shakes, people from all walks of life celebrate and explore their shared humanity through the lens of Shakespearean work. For more information about Delaware Shakespeare, visit delshakes.org, call 302.468.4890 or email info@delshakes.org.