South African Actors Join American Students For Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

A scene from

Photo:

A scene from "The Tempest"

South African actors and Indiana Unviersity students are performing Shakespeare’s final play, in a production directed by IU faculty member Murray McGibbon with guest South African actor Stephen Gurney in the role of the magician Prospero.

Stephen Gurney along with the South African and some of the IU students are veterans of a production that Murray McGibbon directed in South Africa two years ago. George Walker talked with Gurney and McGibbon about this second opportunity.

“Well, it is great to have a chance to do it again so soon,” said McGibbon. “There’s the opportunity to get things right that weren’t quite right the first time. And there’s always something new to find and explore in the man that I call the world’s greatest playwright.”

For Stephen Gurney, playing Prospero again has also been a delight. “Prospero is such a deep character, so indefinable. We think that all the characters and the island of the play are part of the magician’s consciousness. He’s a one man allegory of man’s growth and development.”

For Gurney, this production also offered another pleasure.” I’ve never been to the United States before,” he said. “I and my wife have always wanted to come here and it’s more than lived up to our expectations.”

Listen to WFIU’s George Walker’s review of The Tempest.

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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