Prospero, on our island
NY Classical Theatre brings the Bard to Battery Park
BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Making dramatic use of Battery Park’s most spectacular set pieces (Castle Clinton, the Statue of Liberty and the sun setting behind the harbor), New York Classical
Theatre’s tip-of-the-island production of “The Tempest” brings both thematic relevance and geographic resonance to Shakespeare’s tale of an exiled magician, his daughter and a very uneasy
family reunion — courtesy of a shipwreck manufactured by the revenge-minded Prospero.
“Half surrounded by water and steeped in history, Battery Park is the perfect setting for Shakespeare’s most magical, otherworldly play,” declares New York Classical Theatre founder and artistic
director Stephen Burdman of the company’s bold, roving production — the first Off-Broadway endeavor to take place at (and around) Castle Clinton since the historic site’s re-opening following
Will the castaways of Prospero’s island be so lucky when it comes to reinvention and redemption? New York Classical Theatre isn’t saying, but the troupe of roving players does note that their
interpretation sets the action in the Victorian era, “when the onset of the Industrial Revolution inspired a countervailing renaissance in spiritualism and a penchant for all things occult.”
For younger audience members who may be new to the play, free educational workshops before selected performances will guide children ages 7-11 and their families through games and
exercises designed to help them better understand the action as it unfolds on a stage — which, in this case, is all the world (of Lower Manhattan).