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The Tempest: ‘The rarer action is in virtue than in vengeance.’

Ariel, played by Laura Rozema, is a powerful spirit working for Prospero (David Rozema). Photo by Kosuke Yoshii / Antelope Staff

UNK Theatre presented its first production of the year with “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare last week. The play follows the whimsical tale of Prospero and his daughter, Miranda, as they venture back home after years of isolation on a deserted island. The tale is one of discovery, revenge, family, love and forgiveness.

Prospero ultimately unravels what matters the most in life, with the highest importance for his Miranda. David Rozema, a philosophy professor at UNK, took on this role.

“He gets sent off to die with his daughter on the ocean, but they land on an island with a lot of magical things happening, and there’s spirits,” Rozema said. “They are all on a ship crossing the Mediterranean back to their home and they come close to the island. Prospero then uses his power to create a tempest so he can exact his revenge. He finds that it’s a nobler thing to try to forgive and make peace than to find revenge,” said Rozema. 

The production ran two and a half hours, including a 10-minute intermission. It held an extensive cast and crew who were able to bring light to the themes of the famous Shakespearean play. 

Charlotte Hajda, who plays Miranda in the production, said that she was ecstatic to finally take all the hard work in rehearsals and transfer it over to an audience’s viewpoint. She said the rehearsal process was harrowing, yet was also an opportunity for the cast to form special bonds.

 “It’s been very fun to get to know the cast,” Hajda said. “You don’t really get to do that until it gets closer to performance dates. Toward the end, everybody really gets to know each other once everybody’s on stage together.”

Hajda also recollected her feelings toward the performance time approaching.

“I’m excited,” Hajda said. “I was overwhelmed at the beginning of the week, but I’m really excited to perform this for an audience. I always get nervous before I step on for my first scene, and as soon as I step on and say my first line, it’s gone.”

Behind the scenes, Hajda said it was stunning to see all the costumes come together. The symbolism of the story began to shine through, allowing the actors to bring themselves into character and enhance their roles. Hajda said that the production was a big time commitment, yet the time spent also allowed the actors to reach their best performance abilities.

Darin Himmerich, the director of this production, said that it was beautiful to see the story piece itself together as the play went along. 

“I always enjoy the beginning where there are all the possibilities,” Himmerich said. “And then I like the end where it’s actually coming together and it looks like a show. What we do get sometimes is unexpected.”

 The play is meant to convey an array of morals, but the main one is forgiveness.

“There’s a big speech that Prospero gives towards the end that is all about accepting and forgiving people and letting go of that hate that you have towards them,” Hajda said.

UNK has another play in store this fall for their student-led production of “Perfect Arrangement.” The play, directed by student Nathan Hayes, will show from Nov. 15-19 in the studio theater in the basement of the Fine Arts Building.

Photos by Kosuke Yoshii / Antelope Staff

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Eve Healey
Eve Healey, Reporter
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