News Archives

WCSU theatre arts conjures up ‘The Tempest’

DANBURY, CONN. — As is often the case, Sal Trapani, chair of the theatre arts department at Western Connecticut State University, has something up his sleeve. As Trapani prepares his students for the opening on Wednesday, March 4, of the department’s spring production, “The Tempest,” he’s conjuring up some creative magic for the show, which will run from March 4 through 14 in the Berkshire Theatre on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury.

Performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Opening Night, Wednesday, March 4 and at 8 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, March 5 – 7 and 12 – 14. There also will be a 2 p.m. matinee on March 14. Tickets will be $18 for adults and $15 for senior citizens and students. On Opening Night, high school students with I.D. will be admitted free. To purchase tickets, call (203) 837-8499 or visit

Shakespeare’s final play, “The Tempest” has been described by some critics as a comedy and by others as a romance. Trapani believes it’s really more of an autobiographical work in which the playwright has cast himself as the sorcerer, Prospero, in an attempt to “get his house in order.” Set on an enchanted island filled with surprises, it’s a story that will appeal to both young fans of Harry Potter and more serious Shakespeare aficionados alike.

While the Bard’s “beautiful language,” as Trapani describes it, has been retained — the play has been made relevant for today with the addition of more than a dozen original songs penned by Trapani. The accompanying dance numbers will be “fun for the entire family,” he promises.

The cast and crew involved in this endeavor have been exposed to Shakespeare’s material, which is a challenging learning experience, Trapani explained. “We’re creating a whole new world on stage — that’s what we like to do.”

The cast features Jess Almeida, of Stratford, as Ariel; Matthew Bagley, of Windsor, as Stephano; Jennifer Billingsley, of Danbury, as Gonzalo; Jessica Costello, of West Haven, as Boatswain; Rod Crenshaw, of Danbury, as Adrian; Anthony DePoto, of Danbury, as Antonio; Allison Gauthier, of Southington, as Ceres; Michael Grispin, of Mahopac, N.Y., as Francisco; Kaitie Hartman, of Lisbon, as Miranda; Andrew Hendrick, of Fairfield, as Trinculo; Holly LoRusso, of Wolcott, as Iris; Jason Nolan, of Bridgeport, as Master; Allen Redmond, of New York, N.Y., as Sebastian; Adam Schofield-Bodt, of Shelton, as Ferdinand; Jessica Stark, of East Lyme, as Juno; Joshua Wagner, of Roxbury, as Prospero; Patrick White, of Bethany, as Alonso; and Sean Zackrison, of Mount Kisco, N.Y., as Caliban. A sizable ensemble will contribute as well.

The crew will include Pam McDaniel as producer, Trapani as director, Frank Herbert as technical director, Amy Jones as choreographer and musical director, Elizabeth Popiel as set and costume designer, J. Michael Deegan as lighting designer, Frank Beaudry as sound designer, Nick Bussett as production manager, Lauren Sarnataro as stage manager, Abbey Lynch as assistant director/dramaturge and Hayley Kishel as assistant producer.

For tickets or more information, call the Box Office at (203) 837-8499 or go to


Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.