“The Tempest” Spring 2020 Tour: Entry #1

By David Rubin

Hello and welcome to this blog. I will be writing a weekly update about our tour of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. We are a company of 5 actors, each playing multiple roles in the production, which is a full text version that we have devised ourselves, with no director.

We are Actors From The London Stage, and the company was founded 45 years ago, Sir Patrick Stewart being one of the two founding members, along with Dr. Homer Swander.

Our tour lasts eight weeks and visits eight different Universities across North America. Our producers are from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, where we have spent the last week preparing for Week One of the tour in New York…

Beginning next week!

I’m David Rubin and I play Prospero – and also his wicked brother Antonio.
William Donaldson plays Alonso, Stephano, Juno and The Master/Captain.
Molly Vevers plays Miranda, Ariel, Adrian, The Boatswain and Ceres.
Arthur Wilson plays Ferdinand, Trinculo and Sebastian.
Noel White plays Caliban, Gonzalo and Iris.

L to R: David Rubin, Noel White, Arthur Wilson, Molly Vevers, William Donaldson.

We are just about ready!

The first public performance is this Thursday, January 30th. In the days leading up to that we will be running workshops at Molloy College, NY. We also have two more dress rehearsals scheduled in before Thursday, so by then we will, we’re sure, be ready…

Our final week of rehearsal, here at Notre Dame, was a good one.

It followed 5 weeks of rehearsals in Brixton, London, during which we wrangled our way through this unique ‘no director’ set up. The process requires much negotiation. I think I speak for all five of us when I say we are pleased with what we have devised and are very much looking forward to a live audience reaction.

Rehearsals in London.

Rehearsals in London continue.

Snacking and chatting.

During this last week we did have the benefit of a few pairs of ‘outside eyes’ seeing our work before it goes public: lecturers and professors from the English and Theatre Departments at Notre Dame.

It has proved very useful. We’ve tightened the ship, and are ready for The Tempest to begin.

Rehearsing at Notre Dame.

So many discoveries already. So many more to come.

It’s an amazing play. The language and themes, the characters, the ideas and the images conjured are all, true to Shakespeare at his best, endlessly fascinating and explorable. And incredibly, the play still has great relevance 410 years after being written.

If you have the chance, do come and see the production for yourself,

Thank you, Notre Dame. We are back here for Week Two of the tour.