"Survivor," Shakespeare Style: Galati, Smith, Hopper Are Tempest Islanders for Steppenwolf

News   "Survivor," Shakespeare Style: Galati, Smith, Hopper Are Tempest Islanders for Steppenwolf Frank Galati, the Tony Award-winning theatre artist known as a writer, director and actor, is Prospero in director Tina Landau's new production of The Tempest for Steppenwolf Theatre Company March 26-May 31 in Chicago.
Frank Galati as stranded magician Prospero in The Tempest.
Frank Galati as stranded magician Prospero in The Tempest. Photo by Sandro

The unique cast also features 78-year-old Lois Smith (Off-Broadway and Chicago's The Trip to Bountiful, Steppenwolf and Broadway's Buried Child and The Grapes of Wrath) as Gonzalo (usually played by a man) and Tim Hopper (Broadway's Present Laughter) as Trinculo.

Galati, who won a Tony Award for his direction and script adaptation of Steppenwolf's The Grapes of Wrath, which he also directed, plays the shipwrecked magician caring for his daughter Miranda on an enchanted island. The production will play Steppenwolf's Downstairs Theatre. Opening is April 5.

The Tempest also features Steppenwolf ensemble members Alana Arenas as Miranda, K. Todd Freeman as Caliban, Jon Michael Hill as Ariel (no gender is assigned in the Shakespeare text), James Vincent Meredith as Antonio, Yasen Peyankov as Stephano and Alan Wilder with Eric James Casady, Miles Fletcher, Stephen Louis Grush, Emma Rosenthal and Craig Spidle.

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According Steppenwolf notes, "In Shakespeare's final work, Prospero is exiled to an enchanted island where he harnesses the powers of magic and masters the spirits that dwell there. His desire for revenge drives him to conjure a mighty storm, trapping his enemies on the island. In our first-ever Shakespeare production, Steppenwolf ensemble member Tina Landau re-imagines this magical tale of art, freedom and the transformative power of forgiveness." Ensemble member Landau most recently directed Steppenwolf's 2008 production of Superior Donuts by ensemble member Tracy Letts. Other Steppenwolf directing credits include The Diary of Anne Frank, Cherry Orchard, The Time of Your Life (also Seattle Rep, A.C.T.), Theatrical Essays, Maria Arndt, The Ballad of Little Jo, The Berlin Circle, Time to Burn and her own play, Space (also at The Public Theater, Mark Taper Forum).

The design team for The Tempest includes Takeshi Kata (set), James Schuette (costumes), Jane Cox (lights) and Josh Schmidt (sound). Malcolm Ewen is the stage manager and Christine D. Freeburg is the assistant stage manager.

For more information, call (312) 335-1650 or visit www.steppenwolf.org.

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