We had the lead actor in The Tempest, Denis Arndt, come to talk with our students at our little rented cottages today. He is such a kind and engaging spirit, and he knew exactly how to get our students talking and thinking about the play, about Prospero’s great epiphanies, and about theater. I was very proud of the questions they asked of him, and very impressed with how he lead them to further inquiries. One thing about his performance I really appreciated was his insistence on Prospero’s madness. In his interpretation, Prospero is no magician, he’s just a guy going cuckoo on an island, one who lost his dukedom in the first place because of his own obsessions. I have to go with a Tempest poem tonight because I already started one a bit earlier today and we got out of Richard III late ( three hours and only two students fell asleep, and even then only for a minute!).
He can bend and skip time, in the beginning, and cause waves to swell and charge and call his enemies to him, he can beckon a suitor for his daughter and is the legitimate leader of nymphs and airy spirits. But Mad Prospero, obsessed learner of mathematics and other devilish arts, is not some great wizard of the isle. No, he’s just a man made mad, conjuring spirits and ghosts as stories for his lonely daughter at first, but then he begins to see. The storm is just a storm, the magician just a man, and, in the end, in a bright clear moment, reprieve from his delusion, it strikes him hard: that his power is but the eye, of a maelstrom spinning him closer on into the frail and human dark.
Ugh. Not my fav. Night, poemies. Happy Thursday! One more day and I can see my girlies 🙂