June 28, 2009
Tempest #38—5:1 Storyboard—Catharsis

• At the outset, Prospero is preparing not to forgive his enemies but to destroy them. Or perhaps he intends reconciliation, yet every instinct is moving toward revenge.

• Ariel is also making a journey: this element of nature is taking on human sensibility. “Do you love me, master, no?” is a mark along this path: like Miranda earlier, he is intensely curious what this human emotion is. Here, he’s not feeling empathy as we might, but he can stretch his being to envision it. And this is the crucial tipping point for Prospero.

• For Prospero, this is the act of relinquishment: giving up his revenge, his wounding, and at last his power: the restoration of his dukedom is now a relinquishment of true power and an acceptance of duty. Finally he confronts Caliban and acknowledges him as part of his essence. This can’t be explained with any linear interpretation: it simply resonates with us in its mystery.

• The practical problem of accumulating 12 characters on stage with five actors to play them: I’m drawing here somewhat from the play’s overtones as a metaphor of theatre or “Shakespeare’s farewell to the stage,” not as the ultimate meaning of the play but simply as another resonance. Prospero is, in a sense, the master puppeteer, and at the end of the play he has played out the play, and indeed the actors “were all spirits, and are melted into air,” leaving only their puppets. And so as the act concludes, as each character finishes his role, the puppet head is placed on a stand (treelike forms with artificial hands), as if simply fading back into the mosaic (thereby freeing the puppeteer to bring on another character). And, at the end, Prospero’s own puppet character joins the assembly, and the actor removes the magical robe the human Prospero has worn throughout this five-act magical ceremony. The epilogue then brings me down to my own street clothes. The play has dissolved.


01- Video: moving clouds and flames. ECHO OF THE TEMPEST. Spirits move stands with hand shapes to places around the stage.

Prospero in his magic robe in far R stage, standing at the magic book, turning pages. Ariel (BS) appears far L.

>>>Prospero: Now does my Project gather to a head:
>>>My charms crack not: my Spirits obey, and Time
>>>Goes upright with his carriage: how’s the day?
>>>Ariel: On the sixth hour, at which time, my Lord
>>>You said our work should cease.
>>>Prospero: I did say so,
>>>When first I rais’d the Tempest: Say, my Spirit,
>>>How fares the King, and’s followers?

02- Ariel disappears, reappears Far R (AA/JB) by Prospero. Video: shadows of the four courtiers. Periodic spasmodic shifts in unison, sense of agony.


>>>Ariel: Confin’d together
>>>In the same fashion, as you gave in charge,
>>>Just as you left them; all prisoners Sir
>>>In the Lime-grove which weather-fends your Cell,
>>>They cannot budge till your release: The King,
>>>His Brother, and yours, abide all three distracted,
>>>Brimful of sorrow and dismay; but chiefly
>>>Him, that you term’d Sir, The good old Lord Gonzalo,
>>>His tears run down his beard like winter’s drops
>>>From eaves of reeds: your charm so strongly works’em
>>>That if you now beheld them, your affections
>>>Would become tender.
>>>Prospero: Dost thou think so, Spirit?

Pause. Prospero leans to Ariel, speaks with him in unison.

>>>Ariel: Mine would, Sir, were I human.

Pause. Change point for Prospero. Video fades.

>>>Prospero: And mine shall.
>>>Hast thou (which art but air) a touch, a feeling
>>>Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
>>>One of their kind, that relish all as sharply,
>>>Passion as they, be kindlier mov’d than thou art?
>>>Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
>>>Yet, with my nobler reason, ’gainst my fury
>>>Do I take part: the rarer Action is
>>>In virtue, than in vengeance: they, being penitent,
>>>The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
>>>Not a frown further: Go, release them Ariel,
>>>My Charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore,
>>>And they shall be themselves.


03- Ariel disappears, reappears far L.

>>>Ariel: I’ll fetch them, Sir.

04- Disappears. Prospero into Center, inscribes a circle around himself. Then addresses front, formal invocation. Images. During this, he builds in intensity.

>>>Prospero: Ye elves of hills, brooks, standing lakes and groves,
>>>And ye, that on the sands with printless foot
>>>Do chase the ebbing Neptune, and do fly him
>>>When he comes back: you demi-Puppets, that
>>>By Moonshine do the green sour Ringlets make,
>>>Whereof the Ewe not bites: and you, whose pastime
>>>Is to make midnight Mushrooms, that rejoice
>>>To hear the solemn Curfew, by whose aid
>>> (Weak Masters though ye be) I have bedimm’d
>>>The Noontide Sun, call’d forth the mutinous winds,


>>>And ‘twixt the green Sea, and the azur’d vault
>>>Set roaring war: to the dread rattling Thunder
>>>Have I given fire, and rifted Jove’s stout Oak
>>>With his own Bolt: The strong-bas’d promontory
>>>Have I made shake, and by the spurs pluck’d up
>>>The Pine, and Cedar. Graves at my command
>>>Have wak’d their sleepers, op’d, and let’em forth
>>>By my so potent Art.

Back into control. Images fade into blurred colors.

>>> But this rough Magic
>>>I here abjure: and when I have requir’d
>>>Some heavenly Music (which even now I do)
>>>To work mine end upon their Senses, that
>>>This Airy charm is for, I’ll break my staff,
>>>Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
>>>And deeper than did ever Plummet sound
>>>I’ll drown my book.

At the far R, the book (AA) closes itself.


05- Prospero inscribes a circle a second time. Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio and Gonzalo (JF & AA) rise around him in center, frozen: Gonzalo DR, Alonso DL, Ant UR, Seb UL

>>>A solemn Air, and the best comforter, ,
>>>To an unsettled fancy, Cure thy brains
>>> (Now useless) boil’d within thy skull: there stand
>>>For you are Spell-stopp’d.
>>>The charm dissolves apace,
>>>And as the morning steals upon the night,
>>> (Melting the darkness) so their rising senses
>>>Begin to chase the ignorant fumes that mantle
>>>Their clearer reason. Spirit;
>>>Thou shalt ere long be free.

06- Prospero steps outside the circle, far R. The quartet shifts to new positions within the circle – Spirits visible holding them. Ariel (JB), in his Nymph persona, sings, moves to each one, as if waking them.


>>>Ariel: Where the Bee sucks, there suck I,
>>>In a Cowslip’s bell, I lie,
>>>There I couch when Owls do cry,
>>>On the Bat’s back I do fly
>>>After Summer merrily.
>>>Merrily, merrily, shall I live now,
>>>Under the blossom that hangs on the Bough.
>>>Prospero: Why, that’s my dainty Ariel: I shall miss thee,
>>>But yet thou shalt have freedom: so, so, so,
>>>To the King’s ship, invisible as thou art,
>>>There shalt thou find the Mariners asleep
>>>Under the Hatches: enforce them to this place.

Ariel disappears from C, reappears far L (BS).

>>>Ariel: I drink the air before me, and return
>>>Or e’er your pulse twice beat.

Ariel off. [JB takes over Antonio & Sebastian, so Gonz and Alonso are free.] Gonzalo wanders DS in a fog. [BS hands new Prospero puppet to CB, then takes over Sebastian.]


>>>Gonzalo: All torment, trouble, wonder, and amazement
>>>Inhabits here: some heavenly power guide us
>>>Out of this fearful Country.

07- Prospero brings up new puppet DR, clothed in court dress, to confront the group, who coalesce UL.

>>>Prospero: Behold sir King,
>>>The wronged Duke of Milan, Prospero:

08A- Sudden group movement: puppets are lifted and transported by Spirits, visible, to new groupings, as if regrouped according to Prospero’s will. They’re not quite aware of this, only of the startle and the disorientation. Sharp shift: Prospero X DC, Alonso DRC.


>>>For more assurance that a living Prince
>>>Does now speak to thee, I embrace thy body,
>>>And to thee, and thy Company, I bid
>>>A hearty welcome.

Prospero puppet embraces Alonso.

>>>Alonso: Whe’r thou beest he or no, thy Pulse
>>>Beats as of flesh, and blood:
>>>Th’ affliction of my mind amends, with which
>>>I fear, a madness held me: I do entreat
>>>Thou pardon me my wrongs:

Alonso kneels. Prospero puppet raises him.

>>>But how should Prospero
>>>Be living, and be here?
>>>Prospero: First, noble Friend,


08B- Sharp shift: Gonzalo DLC, Antonio & Sebastian UL, Alonso UR, Prospero DC.

>>>Let me embrace thine age, whose honour cannot
>>>Be measur’d, or confin’d.

>>>Gonzalo: Whether this be,
>>>Or be not, I’ll not swear.

They embrace.

>>>Prospero: You do yet taste
>>>Some subtilties o’ the Isle, that will not let you
>>>Believe things certain: Welcome, all,


08C- Sharp shift: Gonzalo UR, Alonso UL, Sebastian DL, Antonio DRC, Sebastian DLC. Prospero between them.

>>>But you, my brace of Lords, were I so minded
>>>I here could pluck his Highness’ frown upon you
>>>And justify you Traitors: at this time
>>>I will tell no tales.

Sebastian backs away DL. Prospero to Antonio:

>>>Sebastian: The Devil speaks in him:
>>>Prospero: No:
>>>For you (most wicked Sir) whom to call brother
>>>Would even infect my mouth, I do forgive
>>>Thy rankest fault; all of them: and require
>>>My Dukedom of thee, which, perforce I know
>>>Thou must restore.

Spirit (JB, operator of Antonio) emerges, takes medallion from Antonio’s neck, gives it to Prsopero. Antonio quivering violently, then violently controls himself.


08D- Sharp shift: Alonso DL; Gonzalo, Antonio and Sebastian UR, Alonso DC to Prospero. [Antonio & Sebastian placed on stands.]

>>>Alonso: If thou beest Prospero
>>>Give us particulars of thy preservation,
>>>How thou hast met us here, who three hours since
>>>Were wrack’d upon this shore? where I have lost
>>>(How sharp the point of this remembrance is)
>>>My dear son Ferdinand.
>>>Prospero: I am woe for’t, Sir.
>>>Alonso: Irreparable is the loss, and patience
>>>Says, it is past her cure.
>>>Prospero: I rather think
>>>You have not sought her help, of whose soft grace
>>>For the like loss, I have her sovereign aid,
>>>And rest myself content.
>>>Alonso: You the like loss?
>>>Prospero: As great to me, for I
>>>Have lost my daughter.
>>>Alonso: A daughter?
>>>O heavens, that they were living both in Naples
>>>The King and Queen there, that they were, I wish
>>>Myself were mudded in that oozy bed
>>>Where my son lies: when did you lose your daughter?
>>>Prospero: In this last Tempest. But, howsoe’er you have
>>>Been justled from your senses, know for certain
>>>That I am Prospero, and that very Duke
>>>Which was thrust forth of Milan: No more yet of this,
>>>For ’tis a Chronicle of day by day,
>>>Not a relation for a breakfast, nor
>>>Befitting this first meeting: Welcome, Sir;
>>>This Cell’s my Court: here have I few attendants,
>>>And Subjects none abroad: pray you look in:
>>>My Dukedom since you have given me again,
>>>I will requite you with as good a thing,
>>>At least bring forth a wonder, to content ye
>>>As much, as me my Dukedom.


09- Ferdinand (BS) & Miranda (JB) are flown on from either side, DC. BS supports a chessboard; Miranda a piece, about to make a move. Sees the trap:

>>>Miranda: Sweet Lord, you play me false.
>>>Ferdinand: No, my dearest love,
>>>I would not for the world.
>>>Miranda: Yes, for a score of Kingdoms you should wrangle,
>>>And I would call it fair play.
>>>Alonso: If this prove
>>>A vision of the Island, one dear Son
>>>Shall I twice lose.

[Gonzalo operator moves Seb. Head.] Shift. Ferdinand confronts Alonso, DC.

>>>Sebastian: A most high miracle.
>>>Ferdinand: Though the Seas threaten they are merciful,
>>>I have curs’d them without cause.


10- Ferdinand into central area, wondrous. Alonso unable to move. Miranda is transfixed; Prospero comes to her.

>>>Alonso: Now, all the blessings
>>>Of a glad father compass thee about.
>>>Miranda: O, wonder!
>>>How many goodly creatures are there here?
>>>How beauteous mankind is? O brave new world
>>>That has such people in’t
>>>Prospero: ’Tis new to thee.

Ferdinand kneels to Alonso. Alonso raises him; they embrace.

>>>Alonso: What is this Maid, with whom thou wast at play?
>>>Is she the goddess that hath sever’d us,
>>>And brought us thus together?
>>>Ferdinand: Sir, she is mortal;
>>>But by immortal Providence, she’s mine;
>>>She is daughter to this famous Duke of Milan,
>>>Of whom I have receiv’d a second life;
>>>And second Father
>>>This Lady makes him to me.
>>>Alonso: I am hers.
>>>But O, how oddly will it sound, that I
>>>Must ask my child forgiveness?

Alonso kneels to Miranda. Prospero raises him.

>>>Prospero: There Sir stop,
>>>Let us not burden our remembrances,
>>>With a heaviness that’s gone.

Prospero directs Ferdinand & Miranda US. They are placed on stands. Prospero L, Alonso R. Gonzalo comes forward into C.

>>>Gonzalo: I have inly wept,
>>>Or should have spoke ere this: look down you gods
>>>And on this couple drop a blessed crown.
>>>Alonso: I say Amen, Gonzalo.
>>>Gonzalo: Was Milan thrust from Milan, that his Issue
>>>Should become Kings of Naples? O rejoice
>>>Beyond a common joy, and set it down
>>>With gold on lasting Pillars: In one voyage
>>>Did Claribel her husband find at Tunis,
>>>And Ferdinand her brother, found a wife ,
>>>Where he himself was lost: Prospero, his Dukedom
>>>In a poor Isle: and all of us, ourselves,
>>>When no man was his own.


11- Boatswain (BS) and Ship Master (JB) enter into DL side stage.

>>>O look Sir, look Sir, here is more of us:
>>>I prophesied, if a Gallows were on Land
>>>This fellow could not drown. What is the news?
>>>Boatswain: The best news is, that we have safely found
>>>Our King, and company: The next: our Ship,
>>>Which but three glasses since, we gave out split,
>>>Is tight, and yare, and bravely rigg’d, as when
>>>We first put out to Sea.
>>>Alonso: This is as strange a Maze, as e’er men trod.

They are placed on stands Far L. Gonzalo onto stand UR. Alonso & Prospero into C; Alonso distracted with confusion.

>>>Prospero: Sir, my Liege,
>>>Do not infest your mind, with beating on
>>>The strangeness of this business: I’ll resolve you:
>>>Till when, be cheerful: Come hither Spirit,
>>>Set Caliban, and his companions free:
>>>Untie the Spell: How fares my gracious Sir?
>>>There are yet missing of your Company
>>>Some few odd Lads, that you remember not.


12- Prospero to DR, Alonso UC. Caliban (JB), Stephano (BS), and Trinculo (JF) enter from UL to DRC, as if driven in.

>>>Stephano: Every man shift for all the rest, and let no man take care for himself, for all is but fortune.—Coragio bully-monster, Coragio.
>>>Trinculo: If these be true spies which I wear in my head, here’s a goodly sight.

Alonso comes down to C above them. Prospero faced front, never looking at them.

>>>Alonso: Is not this Stephano, my drunken Butler?
>>>And Trinculo is reeling-ripe: where should they
>>>Find this grand Liquor that hath gilded’em?
>>>How cam’st thou in this pickle?
>>>Trinculo: I have been in such a pickle since I saw you last that, I fear me, will never out of my bones: I shall not fear fly-blowing.
>>>Stephano: O touch me not: I am not Stephano, but a Cramp.
>>>Prospero: You’d be King of the Isle, sirrah?
>>>Stephano: I should have been a sore one then.
>>>Prospero: Mark but the badges of these men, my Lords,
>>>Then say, if they be true:

Alonso comes around behind the clowns to behind Caliban, staring at him. Clowns shift, supporting each other.

This mis-shapen knave;
>>>His Mother was a Witch; and one so strong
>>>That could control the Moon, make flows, and ebbs,
>>>And deal in her command, without her power:
>>>These three have robb’d me; two of these Fellows, you
>>>Must know and own, this Thing of darkness, I
>>>Acknowledge mine.

Prospero reaches out and touches Caliban: long moment. A strong intimacy between them in the following, both speaking very quietly to one another, as if seeing each other’s reflection. Prospero speaks Caliban’s lines in unison.

>>>Caliban: I shall be pinch’d to death.
>>>Alonso: (voiced by AA) This is a strange thing as e’er I look’d on.
>>>Prospero: He is as disproportion’d in his Manners
>>>As in his shape: Go, Sirrah, to my Cell,
>>>Take with you your Companions: as you look
>>>To have my pardon, trim it handsomely.

Trinculo and Stephano off quickly R, placed on stands far R. Caliban remains. Prospero speaks his lines in unison with AA.

>>>Caliban: Ay that I will; and I’ll be wise hereafter,
>>>And seek for grace: what a thrice-double Ass
>>>Was I to take this drunkard for a god?
>>>And worship this dull fool?
>>>Prospero: Go to, away.

Indicates Spirit (JB) to take Caliban onto stand far R. Watches the placement.

>>>Prospero: Sir, I invite your Highness and your train
>>>To my poor Cell: where you shall take your rest
>>>For this one night: and in the morn
>>>I’ll bring you to your ship, and so to Naples,
>>>Where I have hope to see the nuptial
>>>Of these our dear-beloved, solemniz’d;
>>>And thence retire me to my Milan, where
>>>Every third thought shall be my grave.
>>>Alonso: I long
>>>To hear the story of your life; which must
>>>Take the ear strangely.
>>>Prospero: I’ll deliver all;
>>>And promise you calm Seas, auspicious gales,
>>>And sail so expeditious, that shall catch
>>>Your Royal fleet far off:

Alonso puppet placed on stand. Spirit (BS) rises to Prospero, places Prospero puppet on stand. Ariel (JB) appears above L wing.

>>> My Ariel; chick,
>>>That is thy charge: then to the Elements
>>>Be free, and fare thou well.

Flash, he disappears with a RAPTOR’S CRY. Prospero comes DC as Spirits move all puppets on stands into a final configuration.


13- Directly to audience, as he removes his robe, revealing street clothes:

>>>Prospero: Now my Charms are all o’erthrown,
>>>And what strength I have ’s mine own;
>>>Which is most faint: now, ’tis true
>>>I must be here confin’d by you,
>>>Or sent to Naples. Let me not
>>>Since I have my dukedom got,
>>>And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
>>>In this bare Island by your Spell,
>>>But release me from my bands
>>>With the help of your good hands:
>>>Gentle breath of yours, my Sails
>>>Must fill, or else my project fails,
>>>Which was to please: Now I want
>>>Spirits to enforce: Art to enchant,
>>>And my ending is despair,
>>>Unless I be reliev’d by prayer
>>>Which pierces so, that it assaults
>>>Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
>>>As you from crimes would pardon’d be,
>>>Let your indulgence set me free.

Lights fading, he makes one indication of applause.

The moment of blackout, strong, pulsing music. Spirits pop up, DC, bow. Then move stands into configurations DL and DR, return to C with Prospero joining C, bow.

They reconfigure puppet stands so puppets are across in front, Spirits behind and above them, hands raised, acknowledging primacy of the puppets. Then Spirits clear stands to side stages, Prospero solo bow, then all together in C. Lights up.

• • • • • • • • •

We’ve now started sporadic scene rehearsals. One of the seven song drafts finished, and music now in gear. Most of the puppets have been painted, but we’re still in the midst of the costume design process—going to look at fabric Monday morning. A rough light plot, and hanging begins next week. Have a rough list of the video cues, but not yet started on execution. Twelve weeks to go.