There’s nothing like a fresh blast of The Bard to carry us through the fall.

Hart House Theatre is proud to continue its tradition of producing affordable Shakespearean productions for downtown Toronto with the classic comedy The Tempest. Directed by former Hart House Theatre Artistic Director Jeremy Hutton and featuring the city’s finest emerging talent, The Tempest is a prime example of what Hart House Theatre does best: pairing professionals with trained students and youth in productions that are both compelling and unique.

Known as one of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed plays The Tempest tells the tale of a vengeful, exiled lord who is willing to sacrifice the happiness of his beloved daughter as a means to destroy his rivals. Set on a desolate island full of mystery and magic, The Tempest explores the nature of justice, the illusion of power and the fantastical monsters who lurk within the human condition.

Heading up the creative team is Director Jeremy Hutton. Jeremy has earned a reputation of creating thrilling, fast-paced and energetic productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Jeremy’s envisioning for The Tempest promises to deliver on his reputation as he skilfully creates a magical island of shipwrecks where spirits inhabit the sculptural elements of the vessels and 19th-century sailors are left mystified by the appearance and disappearance of fantastical creatures. Using traditional African drumming blended with imperial sea shanties, a multi-level nautical set and a mix of stiff uniforms and expressive body paint, Jeremy’s Tempest explores the joining of two colonial worlds through Shakespeare’s story of one man’s search for self-restoration and redemption.

Tasked with creating the fantasy shipwreck-island are Set Designer Joe Pagnan, Costume Designer Kathleen Black and Lighting Designer Joseph Patrick.

The company is pleased to announce the return of one of our most beloved performers, Peter Higginson. Peter was first seen on our stage in 1975 playing the role of Mereia in Camus’ Caligula. Since then Peter has played several leading and supporting roles in various Shakespearean plays as well as lending his talents to contemporary scripts. Peter was first loved by our audiences when he graced our stage as King Lear in 2008 and he will, no doubt, win our hearts once again as Prospero.

Playing Prospero’s daughter is Hart House Theatre newcomer, Katherine Fogler. Katherine is a graduate of Queen’s University where she performed with the Queen’s Players musical sketch comedy troupe. Now living in Toronto, Katherine trains and performs with the Second City Longform Conservatory program.

Also making her Hart House Theatre debut is Randolph Academy graduate, Amaka Umeh. Amaka plays Ariel; a spirit beholden to Prospero who acts as Prospero’s eyes and ears throughout the play. Ariel uses her magical abilities to cause the eponymous tempest in Act One and certainly Amaka will be using her “triple-threat” skills to create this otherworldly character.
Returning to Hart House Theatre’s stage playing Caliban, one of Shakespeare’s greatest monsters, is William Foley. No stranger to playing the villain, William first appeared on our stage ten years ago as Iago in Othello. Most recently, he played the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: The Legendary Musical Comedy. William has performed in theatres across Ontario and the East Coast and now calls Toronto home.

The Tempest runs from November 5 – 24, 2014. For ticket info call 416-978-8849 or visit www.uofttix.ca

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