Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Captures the Magic of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Captures the Magic of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, July 12 through August 6

Center Valley, PA, July 1, 2023—Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) presents William Shakespeare’s magical masterpiece The Tempest. Directed by Jason King Jones, the Festival’s newly appointed Artistic Director, and starring Broadway veteran Robert Cuccioli, the production previews July 12 and 13, opens Friday, July 14 and runs through August 6 on the Main Stage at the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA.

Banished from his dukedom, Prospero magically controls an enchanted isle and its inhabitants while raising his cherished daughter Miranda. With an opportunity for vengeance, Prospero summons a tempest to shipwreck his enemies. Yet, unexpected things happen on the island when mortals and magic mix. Shakespeare’s final testament to the redeeming power of love, The Tempest is an enchanting spectacle for all ages.

Commanding the stage and the island, in his PSF debut, is Robert Cuccioli as Prospero. Best known for his dual title roles in the musical Jekyll & Hyde, for which he received the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards for “Outstanding Actor in a Musical,” Cuccioli’s additional Broadway credits include Inspector Javert in Les Misérables and Dr. Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin in Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark.  Off-Broadway he was seen in And The World Goes ‘Round (Outer Critics Circle Award), Rothschild and Sons (Offie nomination – London), Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Snow Orchid, White Guy on the Bus, Caesar & Cleopatra, among many others; and most recently in A Touch of the Poet at The Irish Repertory Theatre. His select television and film credits include The Sinner, Elementary, White Collar, The Guiding Light, Woody Allen’s Celebrity, and The Rest of Us. He is currently involved with the new musical Mozart: Her Story now in development and recently performed the role of Malvolio in Twelfth Night at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

“I had the pleasure of working with Robert over 20 years ago, and I am so excited that he’s here with us for this magical production. Robert is such a force to experience on stage, and I cannot wait for our audiences to experience his incredible take on this iconic role. Additionally, I am so excited with the whole company we have assembled to tell the story,” says Jason King Jones PSF Artistic Director and director of the production.

Prior to joining PSF, Jones spent ten years at Maryland’s Olney Theatre Center, where he served as Senior Associate Artistic Director and Artistic Director of National Players. As a freelance director, he has worked across the US, including the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. This summer Jones makes his PSF directorial debut with a cast of several new faces and many PSF favorites.

Making their PSF debuts are John Austin as Ferdinand (National Players-Olney Theatre, Arena Stage, Round House, Shakespeare Theatre Company), Sarah Gliko as Ariel (founding member, Wilma HotHouse Acting Company: The Rain Stops Falling-Barrymore Award), Gregory Isaac as Antonio (Lantern Theater, Walnut Street Theatre, Delaware Shakespeare), David Pica as Sebastian (Arden Theatre, Hedgerow Theatre, Delaware Shakespeare), Sue Jin Song as Gonzala (Off- Broadway: The World of Extreme Happiness-NYC premiere, Manhattan Theatre Club), and Billie Wyatt as Miranda (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ: Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, Shakespeare Live! 2019-2021).

Joining them are returning artists with numerous PSF Shakespeare credits including Akeem Davis as Trinculo (Henry V, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing), Jim Helsinger as Stephano (All’s Well That Ends Well, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Eric Hissom as Alonso (Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, A Man for All Seasons, The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, Troilus and Cressida, Around the World in Eighty Days, , All’s Well that Ends Well), Gina Lamparella as Juno (onstage: Pericles and The Tempest; as director: Crazy For You, Richard II, and WillPower Tours), and Christopher Patrick Mullen as Caliban (Shakespeare In Love, Richard II, Loveʼs Labour’s Lost, Julius Caesar, Pericles, Charleyʼs Aunt, and many more).

Rounding out the cast are PSF Young Company actors Megan Castellane (Cera), Johnny Drumgoole (Master), Iyanu Joshuasville (Boatswain & Adrian), Nicole Lawrie (Francisca), and Gabrielle Moseley (Iris).

The Tempest will feature projections by CJ Barnwell, sound by David M. Greenberg, lighting by Eric T. Haugen, choreography by Gina Lamparella, original compositions by Johnny Drumgoole, set design by Steve TenEyck, and costumes by Lisa Zinni. The Stage Manager is Leslie Ann Boyden and the Associate Stage Manager is Emma D. Emde. Rodrigo Hernandez Martinez is the associate scenic designer and Eli Lynn is the intimacy director.

Audiences can enhance the experience before every performance with live music and a variety of dining options “On the Green,” and a free prologue for insights into the play held in the theatre 45 minutes prior to curtain. Other special offerings are an Opening Night post-show champagne toast with the PSF Company on Friday, July 14; a specialty dinner themed to the play with behind-the-scenes insights on Wednesday, July 19, at 5:00pm; a talk back with the actors after the show on Thursday, August 3; and an Audio Described and Open Captioned performance on Saturday, July 29, at 2:00pm.

The Production Sponsor for The Tempest is Amaranth Foundation, the Co-Sponsor is Joanne Hartshorne, and the Actor Sponsors are Lee and Dolly Butz. The 2023 Season Sponsors are Yvonne Payne and Edward Spitzer. The Associate Season Sponsors are Douglas Dykhouse, Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, Kathleen Kund Nolan and Timothy E. Nolan, The Szarko Family, and Harry C. Trexler Trust.

Artistic Leadership, Cast, and Creative Bios, here.