Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.


Laark Productions presents

The Tempest: Shakespeare visits Arcosanti

September 25 & 26, 2015
Friday & Saturday

Shakespeare’s classic romance The Tempest: Incorporating the visionary architecture of Paolo Soleri’s urban environment Laark will present this story of love, power, and the quest for freedom.  Two magical nights under the Arizona autumn skies!

6 pm: Dinner
7 pm: Performance
Performance and Dinner: $40 
Performance only: $20 ($10 for students)
For reservations and more information, call 928.632.7135




[Downloadable poster and dinner menu links are at the bottom of this page]


A violent storm at sea destroys the flagship of the King of Naples' fleet, and the passengers, including King Alonso, Ferdinand his son, and his younger brother Sebastian are castaway on an apparently deserted island where strange music, voices, and magical events bewilder them.  The unseen inhabitants of the island are ancient spirits led by the air spirit, Ariel, who is imprisoned by his debt to the magician, Prospero.  Prospero’s daughter, Miranda, has grown up on the island surrounded by this invisible world. Her father and the vile slave Caliban are her only material companions.

As Miranda sees the ship founder in the heavy seas, Prospero explains to her that he was once the Duke of Milan until his position was usurped by his brother, Antonio, with the aid of King Alonso. Their lives were only saved through the kindness of an old advisor, Gonzalo, who made sure they were provisioned when they were set adrift in the sea.  Now, through fate and a tempest raised by Ariel and the spirits of the island, the former enemies and friends have been brought to the island where Prospero sees his opportunity to set things right.

Prince Ferdinand, having been separated from the ship’s company and believing he is the only survivor,  is led by Ariel to meet Miranda, and the two immediately fall in love. To prove his worthiness, Prospero, gives Ferdinand heavy tasks to test him. Elsewhere on the island, the dastardly Antonio begins to plot with Sebastian against the life of the king, but Ariel and the other spirits interrupt and confuse the castaways.

As the skies continue to rumble with thunder Trinculo, the court jester, takes shelter with the slave Caliban.  While staggering drunkenly across the island, Stephano, the king’s butler comes across these two. Caliban--upon sharing his wine--begins to worship him as a god and the three plot to bring down the leaders and rule the island as their private kingdom.

All of the plots and counterplots are repeatedly thwarted by the spirits--seen and unseen--who pursue the beleaguered mortals. In the final scene, the many inhabitants of the island are brought together: family members are reunited, rivalries laid to rest, and the marriage of Prospero’s daughter and Alonso’s son is blessed.

Ultimately The Tempest is a romance: a vengeance-laced fairy tale where love and reconciliation triumph in the union of the deserving young lovers.  Yet it is also an exploration of the qualities of mastership, government, and leadership and the nature of slavery, servitude and service.  The overarching themes throughout resonate with images of bondage and freedom, age and youth, wisdom and folly and the release of a new generation to find the future, build and govern their world and sail away into a brave new future.

tempest6.pdf218.23 KB
TempestMenu.pdf660.04 KB