THE ARTS PAPER: Bridgeport Takes Back The Tempest

Photo by: Lucy Gellman © 2018

Photo by: Lucy Gellman © 2018

"Prospero is ready to roll. This anger has been simmering beneath her skin for far too long; now it is almost hot to the touch. When she raises her arms, the rain and the wind obey, spinning their gusts into song. Sailors scatter as their ship is wrecked, and the waves rise ever higher. 

So begins Connecticut Free Shakespeare’s The Tempest, running July 19 to 22 at the University of Bridgeport. A project of Dandelion Productions, the adaptation drives home the play’s central question—is it better to let anger ferment and burst, or to forgive and forget?—with a new, urgent energy." - Lucy Gellman


THE ARTS PAPER: On Connecticut’s (Mostly Free) Shakespeare Trail

Ian Eaton as  Oberon , Saluda Camp as  Titania  and the fairies in  A Midsummer Night's Dream , 2014

Ian Eaton as Oberon, Saluda Camp as Titania and the fairies in A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2014

"In Bridgeport, Connecticut Free Shakespeare’s retelling of The Tempest takes liberties with the language, so that it is more accessible to audience members who may have less experience with Shakespeare’s plays...

'We’re taking a classic and putting a twist on it to give it more contemporary relevance,' said Katrina Foy, director of administration for the Bridgeport-based company. She added that it’s baked into the mission of Dandelion Productions, which produces Connecticut Free Shakespeare among its other free education programs. The company seeks to make cultural experiences, including Shakespeare, extremely accessible without jeopardizing their artistic integrity." - Leah Andelsmith, The Arts Paper

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Sneak Peek at Rehearsals for CFS's The Tempest

Rehearsals began on July 10th for Dandelion's CFS production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest!  Check out these sneak peek photos with our amazing cast including Alex Acosta*, Craig Anthony Bannister*, Ian Eaton*, Mark Friedlander*, Uma Incrocci*, Alejandro Lopez*, Joel Oramas*, Myles Tripp*, and Channie Waites*.  Huge thanks to our partner, the University of Bridgeport, for our rehearsal space. 

Photos by: Kayla Murphy CT Free Shakespeare staging "The Tempest" outdoors at the University of Bridgeport

Channie Waites as "Prospero", Photo by: CT Free Shakespeare

Channie Waites as "Prospero", Photo by: CT Free Shakespeare

"The adaptation by Dandelion Productions’s Artist Director Ellen Lieberman of Shakespeare’s tale depicts deposed Duke Prospero, portrayed as a female, using magic to shipwrek her traitorous brother Antonio on the island where she and her daughter have lived for 12 years. It is on the island that Antonio’s betrayal is exposed, and Prospero must decide between revenge or forgiveness and reconciliation.

'I wanted to do The Tempest because I’m always interested in exploring relevant themes in Shakespeare’s plays,' Lieberman told 'In Tempest, the ideas of revenge and forgiveness offered a perfect opportunity to unify our summer Shakespeare with our new program, [BRIDGE].'" - Pat Quinn

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Broadwayworld: Dandelion Productions Announces the Return of CFS

Myles Tripp as "Caliban," The Tempest, 2018

Myles Tripp as "Caliban," The Tempest, 2018

Dandelion Productions is proud to announce the return of Connecticut Free Shakespeare to the outdoor stages of Connecticut's summer theater programming. This year, CFS stages a re-telling of William Shakespeare's The Tempest for four performances only from Thursday July 19 through Sunday July 22 at 6:30 PM on the grounds of the University of Bridgeport, on the patio of the Arnold Bernhard Arts & Humanities Center, 84 Iranistan Ave...

"I wanted to do The Tempest because I'm always interested in exploring relevant themes in Shakespeare's plays. In Tempest, the ideas of revenge and forgiveness offered a perfect opportunity to unify our summer Shakespeare with our new program, BRIDGE, that I began formulating last year. We are so lucky that the same cast that just toured our BRIDGE venues this spring including supportive housing communities, a prison, a high school, and a home for the elderly, are able to now take the stage in a slightly fuller adaptation and offer their insights from their experiences through the lens of their characters. It's been really rewarding for all of us, and we can't wait to share The Tempest with our audience."- Ellen Lieberman, Artistic Director


Announcing The Tempest at the University of Bridgeport

2018 The Tempest Final Poster18.jpeg

Dandelion Productions is excited to announce the 2018 CFS Summer production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest!  Join us under the stars in a new home at the University of Bridgeport on July 19-22.  Show begins EARLY this year at 6:30pm!  

*Special Programming:  Join us for a talk-back with the cast immediately following the Friday evening performance.  More info to come.

A huge thanks to our generous supporters for bringing us back to the stage this year - the RBC Foundation, Rhoda and Avram Freedberg Family Foundation, Jana Foundation, and our individual donors, including contributors in Fairfield County Community Foundation's 2018 Giving Day.


BRIDGE is a Success!

Dandelion's BRIDGE Troupe visits the Jewish Home for the Elderly

Dandelion's BRIDGE Troupe visits the Jewish Home for the Elderly

“York CI Staff & inmates would like to thank you for bringing & introducing Dandelion Productions to our facility for the FIRST TIME! How exciting it was to see the facial expressions & the willingness to enjoy the workshops! Everyone participated, everyone was excited & it was an overall successful production. I hope that you guys are willing to come back and present more productions to our population. It was what York CI needs!”

Dandelion Productions' new program BRIDGE launched in April, with a small troupe of actors visiting local venues, bringing the gift of live theater right into the community.  With an audience reach of approximately 200 people, our BRIDGE program has already made a significant impact in the arts & culture available to the Bridgeport, Fairfield, and surrounding areas.  Sites included Harding High School (Bridgeport), the York Women's Prison, the Jewish Home for the Elderly, and 2 supportive housing communities.  

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A Sneak Peek Inside Rehearsals for BRIDGE...

Take a sneak peek inside rehearsals for Dandelion's brand new program, BRIDGE.  Rehearsals began last Saturday and will continue through the week before this group takes a condensed version of The Tempest on the road for free performances at community centers, prisons, and more.

Our actors include long-time CFS Members Ian Eaton, Uma Incrocci, Channie Waites, Mark Friedlander, Craig Anthony Bannister, Alejandro Lopez & Joel Oramas.

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Thank You For Your Donations!

Dandelion Productions participated in the 2018 Fairfield County Community Foundation Giving Day on March 1st, a one-day opportunity to "give where you live!"  This year, we raised over $7,000 to fund this summer's production of William Shakespeare's, The Tempest.  Thank you to each and every one of you who gave, who shared, and who helped.

If you missed Giving Day and would still like to give, please click on our donation page in the upper right corner. 

Thank you in advance for your generosity.  We can't wait to see you this summer!