by Tom Simpson
William Shakespeare will return to the South Sound this summer with an exceptional production of his classic, magical romance The Tempest at Olympia’s Port Plaza. The production will feature professional stage actors from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is co-sponsored by Olympia Harbor Days, which will bring tall ships as stage scenery during two nights of this unique and memorable production.
City leaders are supportive of the emergence of outdoor theater in the region as a draw for tourists and theater aficionados from near and far.
“The South Sound has a long tradition of top-notch theater,” said Olympia mayor Cheryl Selby. “We are blessed with a group of wonderful, local theater artists, and we are so excited to feature multiple productions of the Bard’s work here – It’s a summer of Shakespeare in the South Sound. We welcome people to come experience amazing theater and stay for all the charm of the Olympia region.”
The Tempest relates the classic story of the magician Prospero, who is trapped on an island with his daughter Miranda and magical servants Ariel and Caliban. Staged at Olympia’s Port Plaza, the only theatrical venue beside the waters of Budd Bay, The Tempest promises rich production values and impressive performances.
The story will be brought to life by nationally ranked playwright and director Kate Ayers. It features such professional actors as Brian Tyrrell, a former repertory member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and a member of Actor’s Equity Union, and John Serembe, also a member of Actor’s Equity Union. A talented cast and crew from many local theater groups fill out an ensemble brought together in collaboration under the auspices of Theater Artists Olympia.
Theater impresario and Tempest producer Ned Hayes is the founder of the South Sound’s leading arts publication, OLY ARTS. “The Tempest at the Port promises to be a transformative experience at the waterfront,” said Hayes. “Our production builds on the rich tradition of Shakespeare in the Olympia region. We are inspired by Animal Fire and by many other local theater groups, and we hope that our productions of Shakespeare can bring a spotlight to the amazing talents of all South Sound thespians.”
Sponsors for this production include Republic Services, The Olympia Kiwanis Club, Olympia Harbor Days, Squaxin Tribe, Theater
Artists Olympia and OLY ARTS, the region’s leading arts and culture publication.
8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 14;
8 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays, Aug. 15-31 (except Aug. 24)
701 Columbia St. NW, Olympia