Monday, February 14, 2011

CAST On The Air

Listen for an interview by Aureila Nelson with Ray Jenness and Joseph Stiliano on North Shore 104.9 FM, at 9 AM, Sunday February 20, 2011. Or on your computer at

Saturday, February 5, 2011

CAST's Tempest - The Musical

 Cape Ann Shakespeare Troupe's coming production of "The Tempest" will feature an original musical score composed by musician/vocalist and New England Conservatory teacher, Rebecca Shrimpton.

Incorporating Music into the Play
When director, Ray Jenness, decided upon "The Tempest", one of the things he wanted was to bring the many songs and incidental music to the fore:

"To Shakespeare and his audience, the dance of life and the music of the spheres were very real elements in the world as they knew it. Some of his fellow players were accomplished singers and musicians and Shakespeare's final play is filled with songs and musical sounds", says Jenness.

Rebecca Shrimpton, Composer
Finding an Organic Sound
Shakespeare wrote lyrics for eight songs in the play, and there are stage directions for instrumental music, including a formal dance scene. The action takes place on Prospero's island, rich with magic, mystery and nature and the director and composer wanted to evoke its other-worldly qualities.

"We needed instruments that would sound organic to such a place", explained Rebecca Shrimpton, "so we chose voice, recorder, guitar, bodhran and a variety of hand percussion, played by Olivia Gale, Kevin Quinn and myself."

The Inspiration of Ariel

"In writing the melodies for the songs, I was largely inspired by the characters themselves", continued Shrimpton. "Much of the music is centered around the ethereal and playful sprite, Ariel, whose strange and haunting songs are meant to enchant and bewilder other characters. In this production, Ariel is able to divide into multiple beings (staged by a group of dancers), so I thought it would be fun if Ariel played duets with him/herself on voice and recorder. The rest of the music includes boisterous drinking songs, a stately dance, a tender love theme, and, finally, a merry jig to send everyone home dancing."

Performance Dates

Thursday, February 24 - Saturday, February 26 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 27 at 3 p.m.

The Gorton Theatre (Home of the Gloucester Stage Company).

How to Purchase Tickets
Tickets are $15 (General) and $10 (Student) and may be reserved at or purchased at the door.

Youth tickets (18 years and younger) are $5 and are available only at the door.

Learn More
Check out behind the scenes coverage of the production on CAST's Facebook page