The Hilo Community Players announce their 45th annual Shakespeare in the Park festival, opening with The Tempest, July 8-24 in Hilo at the parking lot of the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium Parking Lot and then in Honoka’a from July 29-31 at the Honoka’a Sports Complex. Free admission for all.
Shakespeare’s final play is a swashbuckling comedy about freedom, redemption, and recovery, set on a remote island full of danger and magic. In HCP’s early-20th-century take, it’s the island prison of the brilliant, arrogant scientist Prospero (Wilfred Gee), who, with his daughter and assistant Miranda (Alya-Joy Kanehailua), harnesses the power of the wind and waves– personified by the dangerous spirit Ariel (Miriam Hoenig)– in a quest for vengeance on his brother, the scheming politician Antonio (Ray Ryan). Meanwhile, the downtrodden Caliban (Yama Radtke), longing for freedom from Prospero’s control, enlists help overthrowing him from an unreliable pair of drunken playboys (Miriam Wilson and Lucky Lemieux).
Painted in gorgeous science-fiction style by Bevin Kilfoyle of Clean Heart Art and stuffed with gadgetry by veteran HCP Shakespeare actor/director Theon Weber, The Tempest is a spectacle designed to take full advantage of its parking-lot scale.
The Tempest will be presented in a live drive-in format like HCP’s Othello and Romeo & Juliet of recent years. The Players will appear live on a raised stage before an audience watching from the distanced safety of their cars– even tuning into the show’s sound via short-range radio transmission. For those who wish to bring seating, there will also be room in front of the stage for folding chairs and picnic blankets. The show’s audio will be pumped through loudspeakers so that each crisp word of the dialogue can be heard.
But there’s more to hear than that. “This isle is full of noises,” one of The Tempest’s locals explains to a startled visitor. Whether booming from a loudspeaker or cooing from a car radio, the isle’s strangest noises come from the unearthly instruments of its spirit inhabitants– whose preferred method of affecting a character, executing a plot twist, or simply terrifying a hapless human is to sing a song. An original score by Hilo’s own Rachel Edwards sets Shakespeare’s lyrics to eerie, bittersweet melodies, haunting the play and transporting characters and audiences alike from their noisy isles to Shakespeare’s.
Though the stage may have moved and the sound been amplified, one Shakespeare in the Park tradition remains inviolable– free admission for all. With the County of Hawaii’s invaluable help, HCP’s flagship event continues to do what it’s done for over four decades– provide a safe, free and open environment for audiences of all ages to discover the strange and bottomless world of Shakespeare’s work.
The Tempest will run three weekends in Hilo, July 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 17, 21, 22, 23 & 24, beginning each night at 7:30 pm. After the Hilo run, the magical island set will be moved to the Honoka’a Sports Complex, where the show will play for outdoor seating on July 29, 30 & 31, also at 7:30 pm.
As always, for the drive-in productions, we ask that you empty roof racks before coming to the drive-in event in Hilo. Large vehicles, such as trucks, vans, and SUVs, will be parked to the side or behind the first three rows to ensure the best view. Those wishing to bring chairs or blankets may sit outside their vehicle in front of the stage area, parking empty cars along the sides or in the back. The Parking Lot will open one hour before showtime. In Honoka’a, blankets, sitting pillows, and/or folding chairs are encouraged, as this event location is NOT a drive-in. Admission is free for all Shakespeare in the Park events, and donations are appreciated. Concessions, including water, soda, popcorn, candy, and more, will be available.
For more information, visit HiloPlayers.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hilo Community Players provide access to all their activities regardless of race, color, national origin, age, sex, religion, or disability. If you require reasonable modifications due to disability, please contact us at least ten working days before the event.