Shakespeare was nothing if not prolific—he wrote tragedies, comedies, histories, puppet shows…. Oh wait, hold that last thought. The puppet show wasn’t a Shakespeare play but a puppet adaptation of The Tempest we remember from a few years back. This later Bard work—a tale of overprotective father Prospero, stuck on an island, who uses magic and nimble spirit sidekicks to restore his place as the Duke of Milan—seems to lend itself to many different forms of theatre: musicals, community-devised works, magic shows and the aforementioned puppet show.
The 2014–15 season will boast at least five productions of The Tempest, plus four adaptations. Taking our cue from that fun fact, below are 9 recent versions that play fast and loose with Shakespeare’s text, slicing it up, cutting or changing characters, even supplementing it with new content.
These creators didn’t have a magical staff, but like Prospero, they used the power of text, song and some very willing accomplices (sometimes not even actors) to create works that spoke not just to a mystical island but to the world we live in now.
Click on one of the photos below to learn more about each adaptation. Got an out-of-this-world Tempest that we missed? Leave it in the comments!