Photo by Julia Kelley

Otterbein’s Theatre Department will be performing Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” for their upcoming play. 

The play will be streamed virtually on opening night at 7:30 p.m., April 22. The performance will also be streamed April 23, 24 and 25. 

The last time the theatre program did a Shakespearean play was in 2018, when they performed Macbeth

Originally, the department planned on performing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream," also written by Shakespeare. However, due to the pandemic, it was decided that “The Tempest” would be better to perform since the show is virtual. 

          

This is also not the first time the Department of Theatre and Dance has changed a performance. In 2019, the department replaced “West Side Story” with “Singin’ in the Rain” after controversies arose around the play’s racial themes. 

Sophomore acting major Beth Sanford, a main cast member in the play, explained that “The Tempest” was also chosen because its central theme is centered around forgiveness, which relates to the social climate we are living in.

The play will also look a little different from Shakespeare’s version. The program has decided to have a gender-bent cast. The main male character of the play, Prospera, will be played by a woman.

          

This choice was made due to multiple reasons. One reason being that many of the students in the theatre program are women. Sanford said that the other reason was a conscious choice made by the director, Mark Mineart.

“He has talked a lot about how he believes Prospera, who is originally Prospero in the play, should be a woman. It’s a very maternal character. In my opinion, the story makes the most sense with her being a woman,” said Sanford.

Another cast member, sophomore acting major Carson Zoch, stated how pre-recording the show will affect the cast. 

“Without the audience interaction to feed off of, it’s definitely going to make us actors have to work a lot harder,” Zoch said. 

The current plan is to stream the show virtually, however, there is a possibility that by the time opening night comes around, they can have a small audience. 

“I can’t speak for it officially because nothing is for certain, but that’s what the hope is,” Zoch said.