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September 27 – October 6

Rough Magic

A fanciful spin on The Tempest, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s hilarious action-adventure-fantasy (shaped in the tradition of Harry Potter and The X-Men) drops its Shakespearean characters into modern-day New York City. “A neat little juggler’s trick,” says the Washington City Paper, “a shoutout to the Bard, the theater business, and comic books all at once.” 

Directed by Michael Mufson
Friday, Saturday, 7pm; Sunday, 2pm; Thursday, 4pm
Studio Theatre
$12 General, $10 Seniors and Staff, $8 Students

Coffee Talk: Thursday, October 3 after the show!

Promo Code: “Like” us on facebook for a special promo code for this weekend’s showings!

RoughMagicweb (2)

Cast (in order of appearance)

Linda Summers  ………………………………….. V. Heather Fiore

Prospero  ………………………………………………. Neha Curtiss

Miranda  ……………………………………………… Myra Zamora

Melanie Porter  ………………………………….. Chrissy Wenning

Chet Baxter  …………………………………………… Mark Brown

Ariel  ……………………………………………………. Abby Fields

Sasia  ………………………………………………………. Cali White

Tracy  ………………………………………………… Savanah Lyon

Caliban ………………………………………….. Tamaz Bolkvader

Shylock  …………………………………………. Bruce Thompson

Caius Marcius  ……………………………………. Morgan Phillips

Tisiphone  ……………………………………………. Myron Crowe

Megara …………………………………………… V. Heather Fiore

Alecto ……………………………………………….. Savanah Lyon

Dr. Rosemary Ridgeon  ………………………… Savanah Lyon

 

Notes from the Director

Welcome to the first production in our new Studio Theatre at Palomar Performing Arts.  Rough Magic is the perfect show to inaugurate this new theatre space and usher in a new era for Palomar’s Theatre program.  First of all, it’s a really fun, clever and imaginative script that embraces the roots and history of theatre in the context of a contemporary story infused with pop culture.  “The subject is magic,” as the opening line declares, and we intuitively recognize that ‘magic’ refers both to the fictional world of the play and the ‘magic of theatre’ itself.

Aguirre-Sacasa imagines that Shakespeare based his magical characters in The Tempest on actual people, who were, in fact, magical, but quite different from Shakespeare’s fiction.  As Shakespeare may have taken the license to bend the real characters to fit his play, Aguirre-Sacasa has bent Shakespeare’s characters to fit his new creation.  But this is no elitist, insider theatre experience, and no knowledge of Shakespeare is required to enjoy Rough Magic.  The play is smattered with references to Shakespeare that, mostly, are already present in pop culture.

The play is clearly structured like an action-adventure movie and there are even references to Harry Potter and The X-Men, among others.  But the medium is the stage, not the silver screen. The magic of theatre is that we don’t rely on post-production special effects to create the urgency and immediacy of the action. The actors are alive in front of the audience and they must believe in their imaginary world so strongly that it casts a spell on the audience.  The artists of scenery, light, costume and sound, bound by the limits of time, space and budget, activate their powers of imagination to create the vast and epic world of the play with the materials at hand.  And ultimately, the audience is compelled to take the leap of imagination with the ensemble.  Imagination is one of the features that distinguishes human consciousness.  We are not limited by the world as we experience it; we are not constrained by the familiarity of our habits; we are not defeated by the dominance and abuse of power; we can imagine a better world – perhaps, even, a way to make it happen.

The heroine of “Rough Magic” is a dramaturg.  “A What?” As Melanie herself explains: “I work closely with the director and the playwright; I do research; I help with revisions (script revisions); I suggest cuts. I tell the director what I see in rehearsal, blocking, and – you know: “Does this serve the text?” (Embarrassed) It’s hard to explain in the… the abstract.”

As we learn early in the play, Melanie’s magical gift is the ability to liberate fictional characters from plays and set them free in our world.  Melanie’s gift comes from her passion for the theatre and the particular kind of empathy that enables theatre to create a human bond between a roomful of strangers, to transcend our individuality and to be transformed by our imaginations.  Aguirre-Sacasa has given us a fictional circumstance where that particular power, the magic of theatre, is the only magic that can save the world.  In our real world, where people are becoming more and more separate and desensitized, Aguirrie-Sacasa give us hope that a new hero will emerge – paradoxically, a hero born of something ancient.

That hero is the theatre.

 

Gallery (photos by Hugh Cox)