Directed by Alex Parker
Starring Leon Russom
The Porters are thrilled to present the first show of their 12th season: The Tempest marks their 26th Shakespearean production. Longtime company member Alex Parker will make his directorial debut; Leon Russom returns to the boards to play Prospero.
“Yet, with my nobler reason, ‘gainst my fury Do I take part. The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance. They being penitent, The sole drift of my purpose doth extend Not a frown further.”
The Tempest explores themes of power through a myriad of lenses. Opening with our titular storm, the banished duke Prospero suddenly has all his enemies within his reach. What revenge will he enact? What forgiveness can he manage? These are the driving questions surrounding Shakespeare’s final great role – one often associated with the Bard himself: as Prospero buries his book, so too does Shakespeare bury his pen.
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Ye all which inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a wrack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep.”
Assailing that iconic part will be Leon Russom. Mr. Russom is perhaps most famous for throwing a coffee mug at Jeff Bridges head as the Sherriff of Malibu in the Coen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski.” He played another Sherriff for the Coen’s in the opening scene of “True Grit.” Recent film credits include “The Midnighters” and John Krasinski’s directorial debut, “A Quiet Place.” Among dozens of television credits, he is perhaps best known for General Jonathan Krantz from four seasons on “Prison Break.” LA theatre-goers and critics have been able to enjoy his brilliant stage career firsthand. His recent work with The Porters has included Gloucester in King Lear and the Chorus in Henry V (Ovation nomination). Most recently he played three kings and a pimp in last year’s Pericles.
Alongside Mr. Russom, The Tempest will feature company member Christine Sage as the spirit Ariel – performing the majority of the show mounted on aerial silks. Ms. Sage was most recently seen with the Porters as the titular King in our Henry VI trilogy. Other roles with the company include Bianca in Othello (Valley Theatre Award nomination) and the Boy in Henry V. Rounding out the cast are company members Michael Bigley as Adrian, Thomas Bigley as Stephano, Sean Faye as Alonso, and Timothy Portnoy as Trinculo; returning players Will Block as Ferdinand, Matthew Jayson Cwern as Antonio, and John Tourtellotte as Caliban; and joining The Porters for the first time Whitton Frank as Sebastian, Kita J. Grayson as Miranda, and Julia Silverman as Gonzalo.
Behind the scenes, Micah Cover has joined the team as the production’s Magic Consultant. Mr. Cover is a professional magician who works regularly at Hollywood’s Magic Castle, among many other places.
Alex Parker is an award-winning actor and producer. He joined the Porters in 2010. In the time since he has served as Production Manager for the company, along with acting in and producing over thirteen productions. This will mark his directorial debut for The Porters.
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