Here is Max's review of the show:
By Max Granitz
This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the opening night performance of Grand Valley State University’s production of William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I had read the play in an English course in the spring semester of my sophomore year, which focuses on Shakespeare’s works and how they relate to contemporary issues.
While some minor changes were made to the text, mostly replacing some words with their modern equivalents and cutting some portions for the sake of time, it was, at its core, quintessentially Shakespeare. Both the guest actors and the students were wonderful in their performances. Interestingly, a handful of roles typically played by men were recast and established as female. This made the play seem more relevant, given two of these roles are villains (Sebastian and Antonio, rewritten as Sebastiana and Antonia), in that women in power undergo constant criticism, more so than their male counterparts.
A noticeable difference between text and performance was the sorcerer Prospero’s characterization. The character did not come across as fierce and commanding as in other iterations of the play. I was told by a theatre major not in the production that this was done to avoid any controversy regarding recent discussions of colonialism. Additionally, the character of Caliban was noticeably more human, in that it was a bit easier to sympathize with him as an audience member. Overall, the production was a success based off audience reactions as the theatre let out, and the cast members each shone in their own ways.
The Tempest continues through Sunday, October 8.