UAH students and local professional actors rehearse for Huntsville Shakespeare’s upcoming production of “The Tempest.” This season’s summer performance series will also include a staged reading of “Spirits to Enforce.”


The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is pleased to announce the return of Huntsville Shakespeare, a summer performance series co-founded by Dr. Chad Thomas, an associate professor in the Department of English, and Amy Guerin, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Arts. The company, which is composed of UAH students and local professional actors, fills "a market opening for family-friendly yet innovative summer Shakespeare in Huntsville," says Guerin.

This season, the company’s second, comprises a full production of "The Tempest," Shakespeare’s comedy about a wizard and his daughter shipwrecked on a magical island, and a staged reading of "Spirits to Enforce," Chicago-based playwright Mickle Maher's contemporary play about a group of superheroes on a submarine who host a telethon to raise money for their production of "The Tempest."

Huntsville Shakespeare’s production of "The Tempest" is set in the 1980s and framed as a rehearsal for "The Tempest." Set pieces include items found in storage, costume pieces on a rack, and contemporary music from a Walkman. "Spirits to Enforce" is set in a submarine underneath Fathom Bay, with actors dressed in black portraying the superheroes of Fathom Town and their fellow townspeople.

"Not only are we producing a regional premiere of ‘Spirits,’ but we are also the only company Mr. Maher knows of that will have produced ‘Spirits’ and ‘The Tempest’ together in repertory, ever, in the world," says Guerin. "So we also have a world premiere pairing on our hands."

Six UAH students will be taking part in both "The Tempest" and "Spirits to Enforce" and will receive professional credit for doing so: stage manager Carolyn Nix, assistant director Morgan Jennings, actor Hayley Johnson, and acting apprentices Madison Schwandt, Noah Kyle, and Braden McGee. "All are theatre majors, with the exception of Madison, who is a theatre double major, and Braden, who is a computer science major," says Guerin. "The acting apprentices are understudying multiple roles and continue their theatre training with the company, while the others are directly involved in the productions."

Both productions will run at the Theatre Annex Studio in the Early Learning Center on the UAH campus. "The Tempest" runs July 5, 6, 7, 12, and 13 at 7:30 p.m., and July 7 and 14 at 2:30 p.m. "Spirits to Enforce" runs July 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Huntsville Shakespeare is made possible in part by funding from UAH’s Theatre and Women’s and Gender Studies Programs; the Departments of English and Communication Arts; and the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

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Amy Guerin