‘A wonderful comedy’

MARSHALL – A banished sorcerer, a conspiracy, a couple of drunkards, a young couple falling in love and a mischievous spirt all make up the upcoming production of the Marshall Area Stage Company.

The Marshall Area Stage Company is presenting its Shakespeare in the Park production of “The Tempest” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 16-17 and 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Liberty Park Bandshell. The show is being directed by Jim Radloff.

Radloff said “The Tempest,” one of Shakespeare’s comedies, is the last one he wrote by himself.

“It’s kind of his goodbye to the theater,” added Georgette Jones, who portrays Prospero.

Radloff, Jones and Jessa Roberts, who plays Miranda, said “The Tempest” has various and compelling elements.

“It’s the most episodic because it keeps changing scenes,” Jones said.

“This is about separate people who don’t meet until the end,” said Roberts.

“It is just a wonderful comedy,” Radloff said. “It’s not one of those shows that gets so bogged down by people doing tragic things.” You know it’s not going to be a bloodbath, he said.

But in any sort of comedy, you need some serious notes, Roberts said.

“You need to give the audience a break,” she said.

Jones’ character is a banished duchess who practices sorcery, and Miranda was abandoned with her on a small island.

At first, said Kurt Baldwin, who plays Ferdinand, he thought “The Tempest” was like a funny version of “Romeo and Juliet.”

“But it’s not like that at all,” he said.

There’s the drunkards who think they’re the only ones on the island, and there’s a plot to kill Prospero among the show’s plotlines, Roberts said.

Jones said her character uses magic to try and get her “dukedom” back.

Roberts and Baldwin said it’s been interesting preparing for the show. Especially with memorizing the iambic pentameter.

“You can’t just paraphrase, you have to know word for word,” Baldwin said.

With any show, you have to have a whole bunch of pieces to put together, Roberts said, which all melds by the time the production opens.

“The Tempest” is also enjoyable, said Talitha Black, who portrays Ariel.

“I really like it,” she said about the show. “It’s the biggest part I’ve ever had.”

Black has been in the last four Shakespeare in the Park productions and has read several of Shakespeare’s works. She said “The Tempest” follows a particular formula.

“It’s kind of a little bit predictable,” Black said. “It’s very funny if you understand what’s going on.”