-Courtesy of Perpetual Motion PR
Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia’s professional classic theatre, continues Season XIII: Celebrating the Extraordinary with William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, thought to be one of his final and finest plays, this fantastical romantic comedy celebrates empathy and reconciliation. Underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Miswest Shakespeare in American Communities Grant, The Tempest is directed by Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns and starts previews March 1, with an Opening Night Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. Visit www.QTGrep.org or call 215.987.4450 to purchase tickets.
Abandoned on an island for twelve years, the magician Prospero conjures up a storm to seek revenge on the sister who stole his crown. Can these castaways figure out how to let go of their pasts and work together to realize the “brave new world” his daughter Miranda believes possible? Williams Shakespeare’s titanic fairy tale is the culmination of all the tricks he conjured up to make his poetry withstand the test of time—a usurped and tortured ruler, a pair of star-crossed lovers, silly but crafty clowns, mischievous lackeys, and a cluster of supernatural creatures. Dive headfirst into the magic of The Tempest!
“The Tempest is the first Shakespeare play I ever directed, and I am excited to return to one of my favorites almost thirty years later. Full of stage magic, and complete with fantastical creatures and spirits, it is both an epic adventure and a powerful human tale which celebrates humankind’s ability to choose virtue, hope and forgiveness over revenge,” says Quintessence Artistic Director Alexander Burns. “Collaborating with Lawrence Pressman, who began his storied acting career on the stage of the American Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford, Connectetic, on the iconic role of Prospero is a great privilege and honor for me. I am so excited to share this magic with our audiences and Philadelphia.”
Nominated for a Barrymore Award for his performance as Jacob in Awake & Sing! Lawrence Pressman returns to Quintessence to play Prospero. A celebrated actor of the stage and screen, Mr. Pressman is best known for his roles on Doogie Howser, M.D., Ladies’ Man, a recurring role on Profiler, the title character on Mulligan’s Stew and as a fictional scientist in the 1971 film The Hellstrom Chronicle. He is joined by Quintessence alumni Hillary Parker as Antonia/Trinculo/Juno (The Winter’s Tale, The Alchemist), Jered McLenigan as Stephano/Gonzalo/Ceres (The Winter’s Tale, The Alchemist, Little Women, The Wizard of Oz), and Greg Isaac (Three Musketeers, King Lear, My Fair Lady) as Caliban/Alonso and Marielle Issa (Little Women) as Miranda/Mariner. Quintessence welcomes Pat Moran as Ariel/Boatswain/Iris, Langston Reese as Ferdinand/Sebastian, both making their Quintessence debuts.
“It’s really a thrill to be in Philadelphia, a town that I knew little of and learned to love and appreciate when I was here before the dark days of COVID and doing Awake & Sing!,” said Pressman. “Even more thrilling is to be back at Quintessence and part of my special artistic family. The Tempest is a play I’ve always wanted to do and in a thriving classical theatre, like Quintessence, devoted to keeping alive the great plays of theatre’s long history, past and present. Especially for me and Alex Burns, Shakespeare is the touchstone for us both. To be working with Alex and be part of a company of extraordinary artists devoted to bringing this wonderfully mysterious, magical, romantic, comic, and still relevant play is a long held dream come true.”
The production will include scenic design by Alex Burns and Ellen Moore, lighting design by Ellen Moore, costume design by Jane Casanave, magic and puppetry by Curtis Coyote, masks by Barbaric Yawp, stage combat by Ian Rose and original music composition by David Cope.
General Admission tickets are $ 40- $54.
Youth tickets (21 and under) are $20.
Tickets for active military service are $25.
Seniors (65 and over) receive $5 off the ticket price.
Upgrade to premium seats for an additional $10 per ticket.
POST-SHOW CONVERSATION SUNDAY MARCH 12
As we continue to live with COVID-19, Quintessence Theatre suggests that masks be worn inside the theater.
STUDENT MATINEES: Weekday student matinees are available at a discounted student rate. To book your classroom’s visit, contact Educational Programs Manager Daniel Ciba at 215.987.4450, ext. 106, or Daniel@QTGrep.org.
GROUP SALES: Special rates are available for groups of over ten. For information on group sales, please contact the Box Office at 215.987.4450, ext. 1, or BoxOffice@QTGrep.org.