Detroit nonprofit, Shakespeare in Detroit, is bringing its open-air play to Campus Martius Park this August.

Ever wondered how techno might weave its way into a Shakespeare play? Your curiosity has now been answered as Shakespeare in Detroit, a nonprofit organization that enhances and supports the cultural, educational, and financial growth of Detroit with professional theatre, is doing just that.

The Tempest Detroit techno

Reimaigning Shakespeares The Tempest, this adaptation maintains the core narrative of a magician, Prospero. He finds himself banished to an island alongside his daughter, an ethereal being named Ariel, and a monstrous figure known as Caliban.

Techno fans will be excited to hear that Prospero takes on the persona of a former DJ and host with a loose inspiration on Juan Atkins. Prospero was also the director of a dance show that is also loosely inspired by the iconic Detroit based 1990s series, The New Dance Show.

More established techno names appear, just not in the form you may recognised.

When a storm eyes Prospero’s enemies, he whips up some magical mischief in the form of three spirits to attack the island. The three spirits channel the techno trio’s vibes – Atkins, Derrick May, and Kevin Saunderson. It’s the attack of the Belleville Three.

Furthermore, the goddesses joining the fun aren’t Shakespears’ Juno (queen of the gods), Iris (Juno’s messenger and the goddess of the rainbow), and Ceres (goddess of agriculture). Instead, Lawanda, Keke, and Yvonne from The New Dance Show appear, trading ambrosia for dance-offs. Plus there’s a live DJ. It’s a techno twist on a classic tale.

About The Tempest

“The Tempest,” a masterpiece by William Shakespeare, casts Prospero as a skilled sorcerer, marooned on an island.

Believed to be one of Shakespeare’s final works, it blends his theatrical genius with themes of power, reconciliation, and the human spirit. It’s a profound reflection on life’s complexity.

The Tempest runs Aug. 11-13 and 18-20 and is free to attend thanks to the Gilbert Family Foundation. Performances start at 7:30 p.m. each day.

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Author Eric Brünjes
8th August, 2023

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