The Tempest Churns

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stageThe Manhasset High School Theatre Department presented William Shakespeare’s The Tempest after months of rehearsals and preparation; they managed to create a very dramatic evening. From shipwrecks to sorcery, monsters to spirits, from suspicious behavior to true love, what more can you ask for?!

Bridget Lavin, no stranger to the Manhasset stage, performed brilliantly in the lead roll of Prospero the former Duke of Milan with magical powers. His spirit servant Ariel was enchantingly played both Caitlin Begley (Friday) and Alexia Mate (Saturday). Two actors also played the roll of Ferdinand: Aaron Tibibzedeh (Friday) and Yianni Katsifas (Saturday). Ferdinand captures the heart of Miranda, Prospero’s daughter, charmingly played by Sara Beth Lipsman whose younger sister, Meagan Lipsman plays Young Miranda in a flash back sequence.

In the open scene, the audience is introduced to the characters of the play as they are about to be shipwrecked. As the waves create rough seas using long silk banners artistically controlled by Amanda Capra, Delphine Glick, Ragan Lavin, Erin Love, Amanda Naccaroato, Anna Sabo, Ariadne Katsifas, Jacky Nikakis, Kate Shanley and Zoe Vincoff. As the boat is thrashing about the waves, we meet the Ship’s Master, Julia Ellinghaus; Boatswain, Thomas Moschitta; and important players: Alonso, Jade Blocker; Antonio, Meredith Wilshire; Gonzalo, Sydney Klainberg; Sebastian, Benji Starr; Adrian, Kate Brady; and Francisco, Chiedu Mbomu.

Once on the island, the audience is introduced to a dramatic creation of Caliban, a monster at once comic and terrifying, performed by five actors working together in unison: Bridget Blaney, Kristina DiCarlo, Alex Schwartz, Gabriella Tranchina, and Jenna Winchester (with Bobby Moore acting as tail and chief transporter).

In this piece, William Shakespeare was kind enough to offer a little comic relief. Stephano (Kat Terszo) and Trinculo (Jack Eletto) were exactly what Shakespeare had in mind and their spot on performances created the levity the audience enjoyed immensely. Additionally, there was a beautiful serenade by Jackie Nikakis, Zoe Vincoff, and Elizabeth Guariglia.

Many of the other actors performed different rolls throughout the play; a Wave in one scene, a Handmaid in another, Soldier in another and Nymph in yet another. These parts were played by Nina Krishnamurthy, Kevin McAleer, Chris Porcelli, Emma Rainson, Kristina Rubertone and Jennie Whalen.

The show was beautifully, designed down to the last detail by Karl Hueglin, a retired professional set designer and long friend of the Manhasset Theatre Department. There was a handmade wooden boat, which was designed to come apart and go back together again; truly an engineering marvel. Additionally, the stage was decorated with huge boulders and caves, one with movable doors, towering trees: all created from wood, chicken wire, paper mache and then painted and repainted, to be rolled on and off the stage.

Then there were the historically accurate and theatrically beatutiful costumes. Many of the costumes were hand made and created for The Tempest. Clearly made with love by parents and one extremely talented teacher, director and Thespian, Robb Fessler.

Teacher/director Robb Fessler (“Fess,” as he is universally and affectionately known) is truly dedicated to the students and every nuance of the production. From hand sewing of the costumes, painting of the set,the students and every nuance of the production. From hand sewing of the costumes, painting of the set, directing of the cast and ironing or all the production wrinkles, Fess has vision, and is able to bring that vision into the production. Special thanks also to Michael Sadowski for all his support in helping bring the production together; from his coaching of lines to his kind words of encouragement.

But let us not forget all the behind the scenes workers, without whom none of the play would have come together. The Assistant Director/PSM was Brigid Ferris; the Technical Directors were Grace Halio and Bobby Moore (who was also Master Carpenter). Additional Crew Heads include: Marisa Labib (costumes); Chryssie Michael (sound); Jenny Sciarrino (make-up); Emily Sears (props); Michelle Wong (sound); Gavin Friedman and Adam Smotkin (lighting); Rose Rutkovsky and Jerry Yang (orchestra); Aaron Tomlinson (Set Crew and curtain/fly operator); Kevin Sussy (photographer). Students in this productions Set Crew included: Amie Bayandelle, Kellyann Block, Alex Bowman, Emma Carr, Aron Chellaram, Maddie Conner, Alex Crewe, Penny Dasi-Sutton, Kyle Fitzsimons, John Furlong, Sam Guagliario, Jacob Klainberg Lexie Meskouris, Steven Polis, Nicole Rinaldi, Ja’aziel Robinson, Kate Shanley, Justine Spina, Jack Sullivan, Brian Suga, Michael Vangelatos and Isabel Vigliotti. The Makeup crew included: Emma Carr, Penny Dasi- Sutton, Michelle Marsiak, Karalyn Pappas, Emily Riley, Nicole Rinaldi, Ja’aziel Robinson, Jenny Sciarrino, Michelle Sciarrino, Justine Spina, Isabel Vigliotti, and a special thanks to Adelina Hair Design for once again making our actors look beautiful.

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