Wednesday, November 4th
at The Edison:
On the Island of Caliban is a modern sequel to William Shakespeare’s The Tempest and retelling of the Caliban story. In the desert of Los Angeles, we meet the afterlife, the fireworks, and the ultimate outsider–Caliban, carrier of food and water,
This “Caliban Story” is in part inspired by my home. I am located in the Antelope Valley—meaning, I am situated between religious compounds, prisons, schools, aerospace, and Joshua Trees. This isn’t an easy place to live, but I love it. It is a place that defines me and redefines me—maybe it’s a place that defines and redefines Los Angeles and the American Dream—maybe? The Antelope Valley is as far north as Los Angeles Country reaches. LA often refers to us as “the devil’s armpit.” We are the last train stop and often the place LA sends all they don’t want including the hidden, displaced, lost, poor, and forgotten. Here is a gathering of people who must find their human after being told they have none.
Ultimately, On the Island of Caliban is about isolation. The word isolation comes from the Latin insulatus which means “made into an island.” In our play On the Island of Caliban, Caliban’s only desire is to find an opportunity to love and be loved, however such opportunity does not exist for abandoned Caliban.
I wanted to explore what happens when basic needs are never met? Is there a power greater than love—a word that encompasses the kindness and mercy a character like Caliban requires? Maybe something—something like, Grace? It is a word that is often described as broad, meaning it has no definition—no easy explanation. It is beyond classification. I’m afraid On the Island of Caliban is similar. It isn’t something to be understood; it is felt.
I wrote On the Island of Caliban because I felt intense isolation—a lack of humanness. I never would have dreamed of turning it into a play (a play would require many players, and I was spending endless days / nights alone in a room, writing). It wasn’t until I ran into Anthony M Sannazzaro who asked me, “Are you working on anything real?” “I’m working on something that is making me really crazy” I told him. “I’d like to work with you on this,” he said.
At the end of The Tempest, Caliban is left and forgotten by those who leave him. What happens to such a character? How can one reflect if there is no one to cast back the light of being? Such a character breaks—fractures into many parts. These parts exist in memory, dream, and fever. They fight with themselves. They fight each other. Caliban straddles the mirror; he pivots on the fine line between self-loathing and a world that abhors him. There is nowhere for him to go—he belongs nowhere—he is beyond identity—he is all of us and he is utterly singular.
Directed by A. M. Anthony M Sannazzaro
Featuring the Talents of:
Stage Directions/Sycorax: Allaire Koslo
Ariel: Jeffrey Gardner
Miranda: Lisa Blacker
Prospero: Andrew Blacker
Operating System: Melanie Jeffrey
Caliban 1: Fransico Cedeno…
Caliban 2: Jonathan Janssen
Caliban 3: Beach
Caliban 4: Cynthia Johnson/
Caliban 5: Nyssa Newman
On the Island of Caliban is a brand new play-in-verse continuing William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Focusing on the character of Caliban, this modern language deconstruction of the bards classic text, presents an “everyman” Caliban for today’s society; Caliban tackles universal experience by exploring the realities of what’s left him/her alone on the island.
Split into five separate personae, and played by many genders, ages, or races, Caliban, is kept company by malevolent stage directions, Ariel’s chastising severed-tongue, and his personal revelations. In the disillusioned states of dreaming, memory, and illness, Caliban discovers the truth by grace that resides in himself/herself.
Rounding out the cast of players is a withered forgetful Prospero, a silenced domesticated suburban Ariel, and a tortured Miranda—all longing for something other than what they bargained for.
Through emails, mixed media, imaginative design, and poetics, On the Island of Caliban violently thrashes after The Tempest to look unflinchingly at the damage left after the Shakespeare’s storm.
Join Red Hen Press for their new special, formal Downtown LA reading series, “Fluid.”
**Dress Code is sophisticated, no athletic wear (gym shoes, shorts, hoodies, baseball caps, etc…) or uncollared shirts allowed.**
Admission is free with a two drink minimum.
Doors open at 7:30PM. This is a 21+ event. Please have a valid ID ready.
A blend of the past, present, and future, The Edison inspires the romance of such legendary nightspots as The Cocoanut Grove and Crio’s while remiding us that we live in a City of dreams and at a time of invention. For more information on The Edison, please see www.edisondowntown.com.