The Tempest at Hartwick College - Photo credit: Emma Jorgensen '15

Hartwick College Theatre Reinvents Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

March 6, 2013

The Hartwick College Departments of Theatre Arts and English will soon present a strikingly original and unique production of William Shakespeare's The Tempest, as directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Malissa Kano-White. For the first time in the history of the Hartwick Theatre program, large puppet characters will be integrated into the production with live actors, creating an unforgettable performance. 

The show will open on Tuesday, April 9 with a 10 a.m. matinee for students grades 6-12 in the local Oneonta area. The performance will then be open to the college community and the general public from Wednesday, April 10 - Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m. each evening. Tickets will $5 for Hartwick students, faculty, staff, and other college students, and $10 for the general public, with all performances to be held in Slade Theatre of Yager Hall on the Hartwick College campus. Reservations are strongly encouraged, and may be made by calling 607-431-4CAP (4227).

At the start of Hartwick College's J-Term, the theatre program invited professional puppeteer John Ryan to teach a puppetry class for students acting in The Tempest. Ryan, who graduated from the Art Institute of Boston with a BFA in Fine Arts, has directed these students in the creation of the puppets that will be used for the performance. For years, Ryan has toured nationally with The Catskill Puppet Theatre, performing in venues such as the Smithsonian Museum and the Mesa Arizona school district. As a puppet builder and performer, he has collaborated with Logjam Films, Thought Alarm Theatre, Oneonta Improv, Orpheus Theatre, and the Shiva Sham Shows in India.

Collaborating with Kano-White and Ryan will be professional costume designer Kristin Palazzoli '93. Palazzoli has been freelancing for more than 20 years with various stage, film, and TV productions including: Court TV, Blind Dog Productions, Syracuse City Ballet, and the Sterling Renaissance Faire, among others. For The Tempest, Palazzoli will help design costumes for both the puppets and actors. She has also designed costumes for Hartwick College's fall 2012 main stage production of Enron.

Also assisting in the development of the production will be Kelly Fayton '13. Fayton, a Theatre Arts and History major, will be creating the scenery and lighting design for The Tempest. This project will serve as a portion of Fayton's senior thesis project, via which she hopes to bring life and magic to the dark volcanic island that will house Ryan's puppets and Palazzoli's costume designs.

This powerful collaboration of direction and design, combined with the months of dedication from the actors, ensures that the spring production of Shakespeare's The Tempest at Hartwick will be a theatrical performance that will be remembered for many years to come.

For additional information, contact Michael Easton '12, Hartwick College theatre arts production intern at

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Valerie Capullo
Phone: 607-431-4031