Los Angeles Tempest

October 17, 2016
Alison Moon  Palms Middle School  7th Grade

Alison Moon
Palms Middle School
7th Grade

It was a hectic but warm afternoon. My book club and I traveled to the Old Los Angeles Zoo just in time for another Shakespeare play performed by the Independent Shakespeare Company. As I reached my destination, we saw a colorful array of towels and cloth spread out around the entire grassy field. The walkways were marked with small pieces of silver duct tape that shown in the bright afternoon sun. I have always enjoyed their interpretation of the events with clothes that seemed to really belong in the Shakespearean world along with great singing and music. We were there to watch The Tempest, a play I was extremely curious on how their representations would be like. From Romeo and Juliet to Twelfth Night, my expectations were met with their amazing performance.

Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, and his fifteen year-old daughter, Miranda, are watching the shipwreck from an island. He tells her, for the first time, how they came to be on the island. Twelve years before, when he had been Duke of Milan, his brother Antonio, had usurped him, but with Gonzalo’s help he had escaped in a small boat with his baby daughter, Miranda, and his library of books about magic. Ariel, a spirit, had been imprisoned in a tree trunk by a witch, Sycorax, who had then died. Prospero used his magic abilities to rescue him and he made the spirit swear to serve him.

What I enjoy most about the plays from the Independent Shakespeare Company are the costumes and the settings. Each character knew exactly how to properly utilize the props and the sound effects. Once again, they never failed to amaze me with their interactions with the audience. I was amazed at how they were able to weave in extra parts into the play so that the audience would be more interested. Their ability to capture the mind was simply spectacular. In addition, the characters were so determined to fulfill their roles. It was as if we could see the dedication of these actors on stage.

This summer, I had the best time traveling all throughout California watching plays held by many different companies. Starting off with Othello in San Pedro, Richard III at Griffith Park, Romeo and Juliet in Sierra Madre, As you Like It in Culver City and finally, The Tempest in Griffith Park, I have learned so much in this journey and I cannot wait until next summer for greater experiences.



  1. Marisa Johnston

    November 5, 2016 at 12:31 PM

    Alison, thank you for this beautifully written review. We are thrilled that you had such a good time at “The Tempest” and we are impressed by your insightful writing. How wonderful that you saw so many Shakespeare productions this past summer. We look forward to welcoming you to another performance! Cheers!

    - Marisa
    Development & Communications Manager
    Independent Shakespeare Co.

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