June 8, 2009
Tempest #35—3:3 Storyboard—Banquet of Guilt

• Emphasis on the courtiers’ utter exhaustion. Irony of Antonio and Sebastian plotting when they themselves can barely stand.

• Possibly the Spirits’ masks are grotesque variants of Prospero.

• Gonzalo may be played as utterly unaware of the Harpy vision. Perhaps he’s eating of the banquet throughout, and only notices their shock at the end of Ariel’s speech.

• Possibly as Ariel disappears, Antonio and Sebastian manage to draw their swords and swing at empty air.

• We need the sense that Prospero is continually present throughout the play; Ariel is simply the extension of his will.

• How do we make the Harpy appearance truly terrifying? It mostly has to do with the characters’ reactions to it, but there needs to be something about it that’s truly nightmare-inducing.



01-Alonso and Gonzalo enter from R together, to L. Antonio & Sebastian (single puppeteer) follow, stay R.

>>>Gonzalo: By’r lakin, I can go no further, Sir,
>>>My old bones aches: here’s a maze trod indeed:
>>>I needs must rest me.
>>>Alonso: Old Lord, I cannot blame thee,
>>>Who am myself attack’d with weariness
>>>To the dulling of my spirits: Sit down, and rest:
>>>Even here I will put off my hope: he is drown’d
>>>Whom thus we stray to find: well, let him go.

Sudden pain. They embrace each other, supporting. Antonio and Sebastian too are exhausted but try to ignore it.

>>>Antonio: I am right glad, that he’s so out of hope:
>>>Do not for one repulse forego the purpose
>>>That you resolv’d t’effect.
>>>Sebastian: The next advantage
>>>Will we take thoroughly.
>>>Antonio: Let it be to-night.
>>>Sebastian: I say to-night: no more.


02-Prospero appears in shadow projection. Two Spirits enter from L & R into Center; the others startle back. They mime setting an elaborate banquet front with grotesque elegance. During this:

>>>Alonso: What harmony is this? my good friends, hark.
>>>Gonzalo: Marvellous sweet Music.
>>>Alonso: Give us kind keepers, heavens: what are these?
>>>Sebastian: A living Drollery: now I will believe
>>>That there are Unicorns.
>>>Antonio: And what does else want credit, come to me
>>>And I’ll be sworn ‘tis true: Travellers ne’er did lie,
>>>Though fools at home condemn’em.

The Spirits vanish. (One takes Antonio puppet.) The nobles approach the table slowly toward C.

>>>Gonzalo: If in Naples
>>>I should report this now, would they believe me?
>>>If I should say I saw such Islanders;
>>>Who, though they are of monstrous shape, yet note
>>>Their manners are more gentle, kind, than of
>>>Our human generation you shall find
>>>Many, nay almost any.

Human Prospero appears C behind them. He gestures periodically as if cuing them, cf. Kantor’s on-stage directing.

>>>Alonso: I cannot too much muse
>>>Such shapes, such gesture, and such sound expressing
>>>(Although they want the use of tongue) a kind
>>>Of excellent dumb discourse.
>>>Gonzalo: They vanish’d strangely.
>>>Sebastian: No matter, since
>>>They have left their Viands behind; for we have stomachs.
>>>Will’t please you to taste of what is here?
>>>Alonso: Not I.


03->>>Gonzalo: Faith Sir, you need not fear: when we were Boys
>>>Who would believe that there were Mountaineers,
>>>Dew-lapp’d, like Bulls, whose throats had hanging at’em
>>>Wattles of flesh? or that there were such men
>>>Whose heads stood in their breasts? which now we find
>>>Each venturer brings us warrant of.
>>>Alonso: I will stand to and feed,
>>>Although my last, no matter, since I feel
>>>The best is past.


04-Prospero brings up Ariel Harpy puppet, manipulates it. Multiple voices & video. The nobles startle back to either side. (Or the three startle back, while Gonzalo, unaware of the Harpy, picks at the imaginary banquet.)

>>>Ariel: You are three men of sin, whom destiny
>>>That hath as instrument this lower world,
>>>And what is in’t: the never-surfeited Sea,
>>>Hath caused to belch up you: and on this Island,
>>>Where man doth not inhabit, you ’mongst men,
>>>Being most unfit to live: I have made you mad;

Sebastian and Antonio draw swords, then recoil as if shocked.

>>>You fools, I and my fellows
>>>Are ministers of Fate, the Elements
>>>Of whom your swords are temper’d, may as well
>>>Wound the loud winds, or with bemock’d-at Stabs
>>>Kill the still-closing waters, as diminish
>>>The down that’s in my plume: But, remember that you three

Antonio, Sebastian and Alonso fall sharply into a group to R, Gonzalo clutches his head, remaining L.

>>>From Milan did supplant good Prospero,
>>>Expos’d unto the Sea
>>>Him and his innocent child: for which foul deed
>>>The Powers have incens’d the Seas and Shores
>>>Against your peace.

Fall into new tableau; Alonso LC, Gonzalo comforting; others reverse postures R. All frozen.

>>>Thee of thy Son, Alonso,
>>>They have bereft; and do pronounce, by me,
>>>Lingering perdition shall step by step attend
>>>You, and your ways, whose wraths to guard you from,
>>>Is nothing but heart-sorrow,
>>>And a clear life ensuing.

05-Ariel puppet vanishes. One actor takes Antonio & Sebastian. Video with light representing Ariel flitting about. Prospero appears, live, UC. (Or in shadow)


>>>Prospero: Bravely the figure of this Harpy, hast thou
>>>Perform’d, my Ariel; a grace it had devouring:
>>>Of my Instruction, hast thou nothing bated
>>>In what thou hadst to say: my high charms work,
>>>And these (mine enemies) are all knit up
>>>In their distractions: they now are in my power;
>>>And in these fits, I leave them, while I visit
>>>Young Ferdinand (whom they suppose is drown’d)
>>>And his, and mine lov’d darling.

Prospero disappears.

>>>Gonzalo: I’ the name of something holy, Sir, why stand you
>>>In this strange stare?

Alonso standing faced US, turns DS suddenly. Other actor enters below to animate Sebastian.

>>>Alonso: O, it is monstrous; monstrous;
>>>Methought the billows spoke, and told me of it;,
>>>The winds did sing it to me: and the Thunder
>>>(That deep and dreadful Organ-Pipe) pronounc’d
>>>The name of Prosper: it did bass my Trespass.
>>>Therefore my Son i’ th’ Ooze is bedded; and
>>>I’ll seek him deeper than e’er plummet sounded,
>>>And with him there lie mudded.

Exit L.

>>>Sebastian: But one fiend at a time,
>>>I’ll fight their Legions o’er.
>>>Antonio: I’ll be thy Second.

Exeunt Sebastian and Antonio L.

>>>Gonzalo: All three of them are desperate; their great guilt
>>>(Like poison given to work a great time after)
>>>Now ‘gins to bite their spirits: I’ll follow them
>>>And hinder them from what this ecstasy
>>>May now provoke them to.

He hobbles off L slowly in haste.


06-Spirits appear, mime striking the banquet dishes. To black. New music. Video bridge & sound collage: Ferdinand & Miranda lines echoed.


All this week building eighteen shoulder structures (14-gauge Romex loops covered by sculpted foam rubber), with fingerless gloves extending up into the heads. Good thing about this kind of assembly-line work is that you find shortcuts and gradually refine the best ways of doing it; downside is that it’s incredibly boring.

And this evening we actually staged the Prospero/Miranda scene. More about that next week. And at last we have a complete rehearsal schedule going into September. And Elizabeth is bouncing from work on the set, working out the attachments for various wings, screens, curtains, etc., and finishing the setup of integrating a new sampler into the synth stacks in her back-room music studio.

Peace & joy—