The Tempest

About the Playwright

William Shakespeare is the world's most widely-read author. During his short lifetime, he wrote 37 plays, 154 sonnets, and five full-length poems. Shakespeare was born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon. He attended the Stratford Grammar School, but did not proceed to Oxford or Cambridge. In 1582 he married Anne Hathaway and over the next three years the couple had a daughter, Susanna, and twins Judith and Hamnet. Shakespeare moved to London and embarked on a career as an actor, poet, and playwright, joining one of the most successful acting troupes in London, The Lord Chamberlain's Men. When the troupe lost the lease on their theatre, they built The Globe Theatre and opened it in 1599. James I came to the throne in 1603 and renamed the troupe The Kind's Men; they performed for the king and the public for the next decade. In June 1613 a canon fired during a performance of Henry VIII set fire to the roof and burned the theatre to the ground. The theatre was later rebuilt but Shakespeare retired from the stage to Stratford where he had purchased a home and had considerable land holdings. He continued to write until his death in 1616 at the age of 52.

About the Director

Shawn Kairschner has acted and directed in numerous venues in the United States and in England, including a three-year stint as the Artistic Director of the Sideway Theater Company in Berkeley, CA, for whom he directed or produced a variety of productions from Shakespeare to original, one-person shows. Recent directorial credits include The Caucasian Chalk Circle in Williamstown, MA, as well as Equus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a musical adaptation of Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market at Stanford University, where he received his Ph.D. As an actor, he was in the first American cast to appear onstage at the Globe Theatre in Southwark, London; most recently, he played Petruchio in Taming of the Shrew at the Winedale Shakespeare Festival. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Theatre Department at Villanova, where he teaches acting and dramaturgy. His scholarly work on nineteenth-century European acting technique has been featured in "Performance Journal" and will be included in a forthcoming collection published by the University of Toronto Press.

Production Photos

Prospero (Brian McCann) and the Ensemble
Prospero (Brian McCann) and the Ensemble
The tempest
The tempest
Ferdinand (Charles Illingworth IV) and Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton
Ferdinand (Charles Illingworth IV) and Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton
Prospero II (Jared Nelson) is instructed by Prospero (Brian McCann)
Prospero II (Jared Nelson) is instructed by Prospero (Brian McCann)
The Goddess Blessing (Kristi A. Good, Jenny Jacobs, Maria Gianfrancisco)
The Goddess Blessing (Kristi A. Good, Jenny Jacobs, Maria Gianfrancisco)
Trinculo (Shaun Malleck), Caliban (Chris Braak), and Stephano (Joshua Hoover)
Trinculo (Shaun Malleck), Caliban (Chris Braak), and Stephano (Joshua Hoover)
Ariel (Kristi A. Good) leads Caliban (Chris Braak)
Ariel (Kristi A. Good) leads Caliban (Chris Braak)
Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton) and Ferdinand (Charles Illingworth IV)
Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton) and Ferdinand (Charles Illingworth IV)
Antonio (Jared Nelson) and Sebastian (Jarad Mitchell Benn)
Antonio (Jared Nelson) and Sebastian (Jarad Mitchell Benn)
Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton), Prospero II (Jared Nelson), and the Ensemble
Miranda (Jessica Dal Canton), Prospero II (Jared Nelson), and the Ensemble
The dumbshow
The dumbshow
Trinculo (Shaun Malleck)
Trinculo (Shaun Malleck)
Stephano (Joshua Hoover), Caliban (Chris Braak), and Trinculo (Shaun Malleck)
Stephano (Joshua Hoover), Caliban (Chris Braak), and Trinculo (Shaun Malleck)
Prospero (Brian McCann) and Ariel (Kristi A. Good)
Prospero (Brian McCann) and Ariel (Kristi A. Good)

Click here to view photos from our history!

Get Involved

Ushering
Ushers are needed for every performance. Ushers arrive one hour before the show, hand out programs, help seat patrons, and see the show for free! Please contact the Villanova Theatre Box Office at 610-519-7474 if you would like to usher.

Production Crew
We need volunteer crew members to help build sets, hang lights, and sew costumes. This is a great way to experience theatre "behind the scenes" and meet new people. Please contact Business/Production Manager Elisa Loprete Hibbs at 610-519-4897 to volunteer for production crew.

Open Auditions
Want to be in the spotlight? Audition for Villanova Theatre productions! Auditions are held throughout the year. 

Cast of Characters

Prospero: BRIAN McCANN
Alonso: SHANE BORER
Sebastian: JARAD MITCHELL BENN
Antonio: JARED NELSON
Gonzalo: LANCE MEKEEL
Stephano: JOSHUA HOOVER
Miranda: JESSICA DAL CANTON
Ferdinand: CHARLES B. ILLINGWORTH IV
Caliban: CHRIS BRAAK
Trinculo: SHAUN MALLECK
Ariel/Ceres: KRISTI A. GOOD
Iris/Master: MARIA GIANFRANCISCO
Juno/Boatswain: JENNY JACOBS
Asylum Employees: JENNIFER BROWN, CARRIE CHAPTER, JOHN GUYOL, AMANDA HEALY, CALLIE JACOBSEN, ADAM LANDON, LOGAN BARRIE THOMPSON
Flute: CALLIE JACOBSEN
Violin: CHRISTIN JEZAK
Cello: BRENDON JOHNSON
Flute: BECKA McFADDEN
Cello: IOANA VELICU