Production History: Shakespeare's The Tempest (2014)

The Tempest is widely believed to be the last play Shakespeare wrote himself. The parallels between the playwright's own journey and the story of a powerful magician facing and forgiving his enemies, and retiring from his "art" can't be ignored. As such, The Tempest is a popular swan song production for many in the theater. Our Tempest marked our final show with GiGi's Playhouse Chicago, and also with Co-Director Mallory Alcala, making Prospero's big monologue even more bittersweet:

Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
— Act IV, scene i


Semester Outline

Rehearsals began in late January as we focused on learning the characters and basic story. The tale divides into three separate plotlines – The Miranda & Ferdinand Love Story, the Trinculo/Stephano/Caliban clowns, and the Evil Plotting of Antonio & Sebastian. After spending several weeks learning these big plots, we held auditions in March; each teen performed a few lines from his/her favorite characters and told us what he/she most wanted to do. The final show was built around the strengths and preferences of the group. As always, our actors shared roles, with everyone having at least 3 scenes. 

We can’t create without trusting, cooperating, and supporting one another. In class, we placed a lot of emphasis on our relationships and duties as an ensemble. We showed this work with partners in small scenes, and also musical numbers showcasing the ensemble as one big team. Everyone created a massive shipwreck with actors portraying the 4 elements (water = sea, fire = lightning, air = wind & thunder, and earth = the island). The Seniors performed Ariel’s song “Full Fathom Five” (set to the tune of “With a Little Help from My Friends”) and the Juniors performed Prospero’s wedding blessing (to the tune of “Eight Days A Week"). At the end of the play, the elements joined back together to portray the calm waters and happy winds that spirit everyone off the island.

Field Trip

Our ensemble attended a production of Short Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night's Dream at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier and stayed afterwards for a Q&A with the cast



April 12, 2014 at Victory Gardens Biograph Theatre


GiGi’s Teen Drama Troupe

Colleen Altman

Quincy Bane

Marissa Bloodgood

Rachel Buchanan

Jack Butler

Benjamin Collins

Alena Counter-Brown

Kathleen Daley

Andrew Kosnik

Emily Kwidzinski

Emily Lavin

Lucas Miezal

Samuel Floersheimer

Sam Petri

Sam Radinsky

Hannah Vilic

Lucy Walsh



Mallory Schuh-Alcala & Katie Yohe



Aislinn Gauchay

Travis Gauchay

Lawrence Kern

Katie Lane

Tim Lane

Aliza Rothstein*

Susan Sjodin

Lindsay Stock

Kendra Van Kempen

Peter Van Kempen


Lighting and Sound Technician

Eric Van Tassell


Poster Design

Brandy Taylor of Graphic Sorbet

We've been flashing back to our previous productions all summer long. Check in Friday for a look at our first feature film, The Curse of the Tempest Jewel, and then get ready for updates from the set of our next big movie - The Spy Who Knew Me which starts filming August 1st!