Free Outdoor Tempest Blows Into Riverbank State Park in Harlem Aug. 2

News   Free Outdoor Tempest Blows Into Riverbank State Park in Harlem Aug. 2 A brave new world will emerge in Riverbank State Park, overlooking the Hudson River in Harlem, starting Aug. 2, when Pulse Ensemble Theatre presents its free staging of Shakespeare's The Tempest.

Riverbank State Park is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive. The "multi-ethnic, open air production" continues through Aug. 26, and is the third annual Harlem Summer Shakespeare work — a feature of Harlem Week.

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The 8 PM Thursday-Sunday performances are in the Amphitheatre in Riverbank State Park, overlooking the Hudson River. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. Audience members are invited to bring seat cushions.

In the new production of the Shakespeare romance known as The Tempest, "Izod shirts replace Elizabethan ruffs…updating the visual aspect of the plays while keeping Shakespeare's language intact."

"The goal is to excite and entertain a non-theatregoing audience, and inspire them with the limitless possibilities of live theatre," stated director (and Pulse artistic director) Alexa Kelly. Now set on a mountainous island near North Africa, The Tempest includes music ranging from "the Bulgarian women's choir and Pan's pipes, to African drummers."

Kelly stated, "While last summer's production of Romeo and Juliet was loosely based on the TV show 'Law & Order,' The Tempest has been inspired by 'Lost.'"

The cast includes George Tynan Crowley (Prospero); Lauren Davis as Miranda; Rushanah Simmons, Hannah Sloat, Linda Lee McBride as Ariel; Bashir Solebo as Caliban; Dan Burkarth as Alonzo; Kevin Hauver as Antonio; Brian Cade as Ferdinand; Enrico Spada as Sebastian; Richard Vernon as Gonzalo; Kate MacCluggage as Adrien; Sheldon Shaw as Captain of the ship; Manabu Ueyama as Master of the ship; Udi Razzin as Trinculo; Joseph Raik as Stefano; Kate MacCluggage as Iris; Ryman Sneed as Ceres; and Renee Threatte as Juno.

The sets for The Tempest will be designed by Joe Spirito, with lighting by Steve O'Shea, costumes by Courtney McClain and sound design by Brian Richardson.

For additional information call (212) 695-1596 or visit www.pulseensembletheatre.org.

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Pulse Ensemble Theatre, founded in 1989 by Alexa Kelly, "is dedicated to making the Classics accessible and exciting to the youth of today; to multi-ethnic casting; to creating a nurturing environment for actors, and providing outreach programs to the community." Based on Theatre Row for 13 years, Pulse presented outdoor Shakespeare in its courtyard. After losing their theatre in 2002, Pulse began presenting free Summer Shakespeare in Harlem's Riverbank State Park. The company also runs a weekly Playwrights' Lab from which it develops a new play each year — they are currently working with the Indian American Arts Council on Reuters' writer Anuvab Pal's play Chaos Theory.

The company's previous Riverbank seasons included A Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet.