Fairfield Footlighters perform ‘The Tempest’ this weekend

Fairfield Footlighters will bring William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” to the Fairfield Community Arts Center this weekend.

“For audiences that already know and love Shakespeare, I hope they walk away feeling like we told the story well, and gotten that message of joyful love for your fellow man across. For audiences who are new to Shakespeare, or less familiar with Shakespeare, I really hope that they’ll be inspired to read more Shakespeare, or go see more Shakespeare. These plays have been around for so long because they are so wonderful and they resonate with the human experience ‚” said Kate Brauer-Bell, the show’s director.

“There’s a really great message in the story about just how beautiful it is to be alive, and how we can all choose to surround ourselves with people who make us happy,” she said.

“The Tempest” is an age-old tale of romance, adventure, villainy and drunken foolishness on the high seas.

“To fully understand the message of ‘The Tempest,’ it’s important to note the historical context in which it was conceived ‘The Tempest’ was first performed in 1611 at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The early 17th century was a time of European conquest and expansion. The Jamestown Colony had just been established in the New World in 1607,” Brauer-Bell said.

Steeped in magic and illusion, the tale begins on the high seas where a noble ship is in peril. The ship carries King Alonsoof Naples and his son, Prince Ferdinand, along with members of their court who are all returning from the wedding of the King’s daughter Claribel to the King of Tunis.

“I studied Shakespeare in London with actors from The Royal Shakespeare Company in the 1990s. It’s been a lifelong dream to direct “The Tempest”. I am really excited to bring it to Fairfield audiences. I hope people discover it is poignant and very funny, a lovely fairytale that explores what it means to be truly free,” said Brauer-Bell.

The cast of 17 people spans four generations and is comprised actors from the Greater Cincinnati area, and as far south as Burlington, Kentucky. The show runs approximately two-and-a-half hours with a ten-minute intermission.

“The actors that Fairfield Footlighters attracts are of a quality that makes it very easy to cast a play like this well. We have some amazingly talented people in this cast that come from all over the Tri-state area, particularly those who came out for this show because they love Shakespeare. So, we have a cast that’s very diverse in age, and very adapt at filling the different roles,” Brauer-Bell said.

We’ve taken a very traditional approach to the production, which includes segments of ballet, a fantastical set designed by Stacey Catron, and an original score by Cincinnati musician Greg Botos, whose daughter Amy Koch is our stage manager, she said.

“This is my second show with Fairfield Footlighters, having directed Agatha Christie’s ‘And Then There Were None’ last fall. I really love how the Fairfield community has embraced me. The Community Arts Center is the perfect venue for this play. It feels intimate and yet has the classic proscenium stage that really lends itself to a traditional Shakespeare retelling,” Brauer-Bell said.

How to go

What: Fairfield Footlighters will present Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

When: Four shows: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Where: Fairfield Community Arts Center, 411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield

Admission: $15 online, by phone, or at the door

More info: (513) 867-5348 or visit fairfield-city.org/tickets or fairfieldfootlighters.org

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