Long Island Theatre Company honored by Royal Shakespeare Company's International Festival
(Stony Brook, NY)-As part of the Royal Shakespeare Company's(RSC) Open Stages Project, the Asylum Theatre Company will present "The Tempest," Sept. 29-Oct. 9 on the campus of Stony Brook University.
The Open Stages Project is part of a year-long celebration of the Royal Shakespeare Company's 50th anniversary, and includes partnerships with regional theatres and amateur companies from around the world. Each organization will present their own RSC branded, Shakespeare themed productions.
RSC's artistic director, Michael Boyd, explains "The RSC wants to lead a step change in the relationship with the amateur sector; to recognize its rich traditions, open our doors to its work and collaborate with partners... to leave a significant legacy."
Adaptor and director Valeri Lantz-Gefroh's concept is one of the few productions-possibly the only-to be accepted into the Open Stages Project from the United States.
In this surreal adaptation of Shakespeare's last play, the hero, Prospero, is stranded on his hospital deathbed. In the moments before he dies he struggles to make peace with family betrayals and find hope for the future of his young daughter. A frantic attempt to revive him brings on the fury of a tempest and the dream visions of confrontation, punishment and the ultimate realization that forgiveness is the only path home.
"When conceiving this project I took great liberties," says Lantz-Gefroh."Having watched my mother die 6 years ago, I was struck by a parallel between Shakespeare's final musings and the internal storm that my mother waded through in her last days of life. I conceived this production based on the impact of that deeply personal experience."
Asylum was founded in 2001 by a group of Long Island theatre artists who are also teaching faculty at various Suffolk County institutions. This is the company's first project in several years. Lantz-Gefroh is on the faculty at Stony Brook University and a resident of Rocky Point, NY. Suffolk County Community College professor Steven Lantz-Gefroh, her husband, will be playing Prospero. Both are founding members of Asylum Theatre Company.
Asylum's "Tempest" comes on the heels of the RSC's residency at New York's Park Avenue Armory.
The production will be hosted by SBU's Department of Theatre Arts, with support from the Staller Center for the Arts. Shows are Sept. 29-Oct.1 and Oct. 6-8 at 8pm, with 2pm matinees scheduled Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.
For more information call (631)805-8688 or visit www.asylumtheatrecompany.org.