Rebecca Graham as Prospero works her Tempestuous magic while daughter Miranda (Lauren Sherman) and spritely servant Ariel (Jonny Sinklier) look on in wonder.
Once again, Rubicon Theatre Company offers its Fearless Shakespeare Camp, marking the tenth season the organization has presented a youth production by the Bard. The 2019 production of The Tempest will be special though. For the first time ever, Rubicon is making free tickets available for students and teachers in our region. Kirby and Beverly Ward, Co-Directors of Education and Outreach at the theatre, got the idea after hearing about the inception of Joseph Papp’s famous Shakespeare in the Park in NYC. “I was watching a TED Talk with Oskar Eustice,” says Beverly, “when he referenced his predecessor at The Public Theatre, the great Joe Papp. According to Eustice, Papp believed that the classics should be free for everyone – not just the wealthy.” “More importantly, he thought they should see the very best renditions of these plays,” says Kirby Ward, Beverly’s husband and partner at Rubicon. “Anyone who’s seen one of Joseph Fuqua’s Fearless Shakespeare productions knows, his spin on these Masterpieces is spectacularly creative and his direction is first-rate.”
Fuqua is a Yale Drama grad and a member of the professional company at Rubicon. His students are fiercely loyal to him, often returning many years in a row. He’s known for his humor and insight into the minds of teenagers. “When adapting these plays for Fearless Shakespeare, my focus is to make them easily understood by an American audience. We use modern dress, put it in a contemporary setting, but still honor Shakespeare’s exalted language,” says Fuqua. He brings a verse coach, Louis Lotorto, into the camp to work with the kids to make certain they’re fully grasping the meaning behind Shakespeare’s words.
Rubicon’s policy is that no child should be excluded from their camps because of financial limitations. “We meet the need of every student who applies for financial assistance,” says Kirby. Beverly adds, “So why wouldn’t remake the performances free? It’s a natural next step toward our mission of entertaining, enriching and educating the community.”
The Tempest opens Friday, July 12 with a performance at 7:00 p.m. and runs Saturday, July 13 at 2:00 and 7:00 p.m., closing on Sunday, July 14 with a 2:00 p.m. matinee. This full-length adaptation will run approximately 2 hours with an intermission. Tickets are $16 plus a $4 service fee for adults. All children and students or teachers with ID can access their free ticket to any performance by visiting the Rubicon website at www.rubicontheatre.org or calling Guest Services and using the code FREESHAKES. Guest Services is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, from noon until 6 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, based on availability. Adults who aren’t teachers will pay a $5 up-charge for purchasing at the door. All performances are at the Theatre, 1006 East Main St.