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    In Shakespeare’s "The Tempest," the famous playwright describes the island where the story takes place with “Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.” The same goes for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival’s performance of the whimsical tale. Regardless of your knowledge of Shakespeare and his old English terminology and iambic pentameter, this summer’s Shakespeare Festival is definitely for everyone.

    The crowd at Saturday night's performance of Kentucky Shakespeare's "The Tempest" was captivated by an impressively ornate stage styled as a tropical cliff. The set was fully equipped with a balcony for some of the play's most touching monologues and a bungee lift used to make Ariel, the play’s magical spirit character, fly over her costars.

    As if the stage wasn’t visually stimulating enough, the costumes were dazzling. Ariel and her team of spirits were dressed in blue patterned leotards that covered their entire bodies from head to toe, providing the illusion of blue skin. The actor playing Caliban, a mystical creature that Shakespeare suggested was the offspring of a fabled witch, was also dressed in a leotard of earthy colors, creating an unnatural, monster-like appearance. The stage presence of both these characters gripped audience members, especially the children in attendance.

    The one unavoidable flaw of the performance was towards the end of the play when a loud plane flying over Central Park caused a noisy interruption. However, the actors halted their dialogue just long enough to let the plane fly over, which added a short comedic pause to the scene.

    Such elaborate sets and precise stage direction are typically unexpected by patrons of the arts when attending free events. However, as a ticketless event, Shakespeare in the Park is hands down the best experience you can have in Louisville for free. 

    You can see "The Tempest" in Central Park at 8 p.m. every night until Sunday, June 14. For more information about upcoming performances, please visit Kentucky Shakespeare’s website here

    Carly Garcia's picture

    About Carly Garcia

    Lover of vegetarian cuisine, Stephen King, puppies, camping and wine...lots of wine.

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