Sunday, July 8, 2018
Jennifer Nesbitt is undertaking a challenging task: By directing her original adaptation of "The Tempest" -- William Shakespeare's stormy tale of the sorcerer Prospero and daughter Miranda -- she will be introducing Arts Live's young performers to the play years before they might study it in school. Nesbitt says she thinks the vibrant plot and characters will be just the thing to acquaint kids with the piece.
"It's fun, and it explores some classic archetypes that kids can really get into," she says. Nesbitt directed "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for Arts Live last summer. "A cook, a jester, a wizard, a monster ... I thought of all of these characters that these kids could create. So I thought, 'Yes! Let's put together an adaptation so kids could have a chance to learn about archetypes and universal characters.'
WHEN — 7 p.m. July 12-14; 2 p.m. July 14-15
WHERE — Arts Live Theatre, 818 N. Sang Ave. in Fayetteville
INFO — 521-4932
"We're focusing on the idea that an archetype doesn't necessarily have to be a stereotype," she continues. "For example, not everyone's interpretation of a hero may be the same. I think it inspires the kids to find their own heroes."
Nesbitt says the adaptation will make the story easier for the kids to grasp while retaining some of Shakespeare's original language.
"I've modernized it for Arts Live, so that anyone will be able to understand what's happening," she says. "I've cut down the dialogue and made it kid-friendly -- but then I'll throw some of Shakespeare's dialogue in there. For example, he uses the word 'enthralled' a lot, so I've sprinkled that throughout, so then we have a chance to talk about Shakespeare's intentions and language but still keep it modernized ."
Nesbitt says she hopes an early introduction to Shakespeare might help instill a love of classics in the performers, as well as the kids in the audience.
"Hopefully, they'll walk away inspired and curious about Shakespeare," she says. "Maybe they'll think, 'Hey, Shakespeare is really cool,' and go home and check some of his plays out of the library."
-- Lara Hightower
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