Five directors, a group of 13 diverse actors and one play are the ingredients of the Judith Shakespeare Company's appropriately named The Tempest Project. Subtitled an experiment in non-traditional casting, the five-day event will take place at the McGinn/Cazale Theater on Upper Broadway.
The non-traditional casting part of the troupe's latest offering is not unusual: Judith Shakespeare Company has always cast women in the male roles of the Bard's canon. The quintet of directors, however, is something novel. They are Thomas A. Abbey, Alexandra Lopez, Keith Oncale, Rusty Tennant and Joanne Zipay. Each will take a stab at Shakespeare's late play, The Tempest, playing "with a variety of perspectives based on race, gender and age....Scenes being explored by the directors center on the relationships of conquerer/native, master/slave and parent/child." Dramaturgs will be on hand and the audience is invited to respond the directorial and casting choices.
As the performances are not of a set production, a $10 admission price is suggested. The McGinn/Cazale is located at 2162 Broadway (at 76th Street). For more information, call (212) 592-1885.
The Judith Shakespeare Company debuted in May 1995 and has presented Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Molly Louise Shepard's Tabula Rasa and All's Well That Ends Well. The company is dedicated to the re-examination and reinterpretation of women's roles in classical theatre. —By Robert Simonson