DIRECTOR'S STATEMENT

on THE TEMPEST

The Tempest is a play that has intrigued me for years.  Prospero, with magical tricks and sorcerer's power, conjures up a storm she hopes will avenge the actions of her own family against her.  The years pass and the anger continues to rise.  Fortuitously, her chance has come to take matters into her own hands, but once faced with the realities of what it means to pursue revenge, Prospero must consider the cost to her family, her daughter, and her spirit.  As Lucy Gellman so smartly put it in her review of the show on ArtsPaper.org - "is it better to let anger ferment and burst, or to forgive and forget?"

I am delighted to bring this adaptation to the CFS summer stage after its tour in community centers in and around Bridgeport this past spring with our new program, BRIDGE.  The same cast returns, equipped with the experiences and perspective gained from performances and workshops in York Women's Prison, Harding HS, supportive housing communities, and the Jewish Home for the Elderly.  Those experiences filled the room on day one of our CFS summer rehearsal period, and I believe that this production is all the more rich because of BRIDGE.

Channie as "Prospero" was a choice that I made less because I was committed to a woman in the role, but more because I was committed to finding the right person.  It was clear to me that Channie was it, and in casting her, we have found a depth of character and intention that I was not initially anticipating, but that makes Prospero's story even more intriguing to encounter.

And so I'm tremendously excited for the storm winds to blow this weekend.  Thank you for being here and we hope you enjoy our adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Tempest!

ON OUR UPCOMING 20TH ANNIVERSARY CFS SEASON

I can't believe that it's been 30 years since Dandelion Productions founded in 1989 and almost 20 years of staging outdoor productions with our program, Connecticut Free Shakespeare.  When Bert and I began this company, we had the single intent in mind to reach as many of you as possible with our style of programming that is accessible and joyful.  But the joy has been all mine to see so many of you year after year, whether it be as an actor who makes a home with us time and time again, or as a patron who we have been able to see grow over the decades.  Knowing all of you has been the greatest gift.

It's been no secret that Dandelion has had its ups and downs.  Funding our free programs has become more challenged over recent years.  We also weathered a tough few years with unexpected losses, including our dear company and production stage manager, Leroy Walton (2016), and my partner in business and in life, our beloved Bert Garskof (2017).  And yet, here we are, still persevering, because we believe in the power of our mission and our programs in bringing joy to the people of Connecticut.  

This year, we launched our brand new BRIDGE and we returned again for our CFS summer.  Next year, we come back with a fall AND spring season of BRIDGE, and our exciting 20th Anniversary production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  But to get there, we need all of your support now more than ever.  

Our goal is to raise $100,000 by January 1st, so that we can walk into the new year ready for all that's in store for a fantastical season of dreams and merriment.  We know that we can get there, especially if we have your support.

I'm already dreaming myself of all that's to come in 2019!  Of our BRIDGE troupe and the impact they will have, of Oberon and Titania and all the fairies, and of our joyful evenings under the stars with all of you.

But until then, we have a Tempest to weather!

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