(Three Man) Tempest

"All thy vexations were but my trials of thy love, and thou hast strangely stood the test."

Dec 5 – Dec 22, 2013

Written by William Shakespeare

Directed by Randolph Curtis Rand

Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  Three actors.  On a table.

Betrayed by his own brother and cast to sea as for dead, Prospero and his daughter Miranda discover an island of magic and light.  But as Prospero harnesses the magic of his new ‘kingdom’, his humanity diminishes.  When his brother sails nearby, he uses the magic he has learned to create a shipwreck that will bring him face to face with those who have betrayed him … and allow him to discover once and for all if he is the man he thinks he is.


Randolph Curtis Rand worked for our company in our very first season, 17 years ago (as the wild Spaniard Don Armado in Love’s Labours Lost and as the slightly in-over-his-head professor Oliver Davenport in David Edgar’s Pentecost).  For anyone who saw either performance, they are likely seared into your memory.  Randy has returned to Burning Coal time and again over the years, as a playwright (A Doll House), as a director (To Kill A Mockingbird) and as an actor (The Seafarer).  This time, he’s going to be doing all three!  For it will be his adaptation of Shakespeare’s penultimate play, which we are calling (Three Man) Tempest, which Randy will both direct… and star in!  His compatriots for this quixotic enterprise will be the ubertalented Adam Patterson, who played Dill in Mockingbird, and who grew up in Raleigh prior to making his way to the Big Apple and Carter, a young Raleigh-based actor who was last seen at Burning Coal in Shining City two seasons ago. 


The Tempest is one of Shakespeare’s most interesting plays.  It has the sprite, Ariel, and the earth monster, Caliban, the young lovers Miranda and Ferdinand, along with the great clowns Trinculo and Stephano, and of course the brooding Prospero.  Prospero, who was royally stiffed by his brother Antonio, has been banished to an island and robbed of his crown and his kingdom.  On the island, he creates a new kingdom to rule over.  He conquers the island spirits and puts them into his own service, and that of his beautiful daughter, Miranda.  But when his brother and his men sail close to the island, he cannot resist conjuring a “tempest” that lands them all washed up on the shores of the island, and sets in motion the final showdown between brothers.  But is a battle with Antonio really what Prospero has in mind, or does he have something even more interesting up his sleeve?


Find out in December at Burning Coal!

Estimated run time: 1.5 hours.