Julian Ceballos, a third-year theater student, memorized 40 pages of dialogue and integrated music into his performance as the lead Prospero, the Duke of Milan. ''It was such an interesting idea and I thought I could be the one to bring it to life on the stage,'' Ceballos said.
In this production of ''The Tempest,'' the noncorporeal Ariel has been divided into two roles, played by Bjorn Hedqvist (right), a fourth-year theater student, and Sophie Cobarrubia (left), a second-year film and television student. ''Training for the role has made me more aware of my body and what I can do,'' said Hedqvist. Cobarrubia said, ''I have gotten to know myself through knowing Ariel. Playing this all-powerful being has given me confidence and made me love my body.''
According to the Shakespeare Company, this production of ''The Tempest'' advocates a braver, kinder new world of equality. Kayla Erickson, a fourth-year theater major and director of the play, incorporated glam rock music and movement into the play. ''I drew connections between Shakespeare, Prospero, (David) Bowie and the world of the play,'' said Erickson.
Kaiulani Kennealy, a fourth-year theater student, plays the role of Miranda. ''In the original text Miranda is very meek and quiet, but in this version, the character is able to reclaim agency which allows me to combine femininity, sensitivity but also strength in my performance,'' Kennealy said.
Matt Curtin, a fourth-year theater student, said Gollum from ''The Lord of the Rings'' inspired his portrayal of Caliban. He also looked at indigenous island animals such as crabs, apes and monkeys to develop Caliban’s unique movement style and behavior.
The primary relationship in this show is between Miranda and Ferdinand. In this version of ''The Tempest,'' Ferdinand is played by first-year pre-economics student Natalie Couture. ''It was a fun challenge to figure out how changing Ferdinand from a male to a lesbian female would change the dynamic of the love story,'' said Couture.
Anthony Crehan, a first-year theater student who plays Antonio; Pablo Martinez, a first-year theater student who plays Sebastian; and Ava Alexiades, a first-year theater student who plays Gonzalo, have most of their scenes together.
''My wish is for us to see the world through Miranda’s eyes: a brave new world where ... love is a pure connection that transcends the physical, and where our shared humanity breaks down every barrier, allowing us to boundlessly love and forgive one another,'' Erickson said.
Chloe Winnett (left), a first-year biology student, plays Trinculo the Jester and Jacob Cherry (right), a first-year theater student, plays Stephano: a butler and drunkard. Cherry had previously played Trinculo in his high school’s production of ''The Tempest'' and said he enjoyed playing Stephano for a change. ''Now I get Stephano’s perspective,'' Cherry said.
''Since (Bowie’s) death my freshman year of college, I’ve wanted to pay homage to my intergalactic muse in a public way before leaving UCLA,'' Erickson said. '''The Tempest' is a story about turning to face the strange ... whether that means acknowledging parts of ourselves we may not want to see, making amends with people and ideas we may not agree with, or embracing the uncertainty of a daunting future ahead.''
As the stage manager, first-year theater major Lucy Wirtz communicates with the cast and crew about where and when rehearsals will take place and takes detailed notes during the rehearsals. She has worked closely with the director and assistant director to ensure that the production runs smoothly. ''As a very organized person that also loves theater, stage managing is the perfect job for me as it combines those two aspects,'' Wirtz said.