The Guthrie Review - The Tempest

April 15, 2023
David Sunnyside

tempest guthrie review

After a tumultuous two-year programming hiatus, the Guthrie Theater has returned to the stage with its newest production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Featuring former Artistic Director Joe Dowling and starring Regina Marie Williams as the bookish sorcerer Prospera, this is a joyous celebration of the arts and the human spirit that feels both timeless and as if it were written yesterday.

Dowling’s The Tempest isn’t a stripped-down production, but one that leans into all the revelry of a good comedy. It is awash in music, dancing, color, big showy moments and quiet moments of poignancy.

It’s also a play that feels quite apt for our times, a time when so many people are driven by revenge and desire to see their enemies suffer for what they did. As such, it is a great way to encourage forgiveness and reconciliation.

The Guthrie’s cast is strong, with Regina Marie Williams delivering the title role with an air of gravitas and a heart that shines through her words. Lizan Mitchell adds a stirring voice to Gonzala, and Yadira Correa is very sympathetic as Francisca.

Other performances are equally memorable, especially the comic buffoons Stephano (Robert Dorfman) and Trinculo (Andrew Weems), as well as Caliban, played very ably by Harry Smith.

There’s a little less focus on the relationship between Prospero and Miranda this time around, but it’s not a bad thing in terms of character depth. In fact, it may be one of the most heartfelt plays of all time, with Prospero finally able to forgive her brother, free Ariel and reclaim his title as the Duke of Milan.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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