The Tempest

April 22 - May 1, 2016
Ethel M. Barber Theater | 30 Arts Circle Drive, Evanston

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Hannah Todd
In cooperation with The Actors Gymnasium

Through movement, original music, and Shakespeare’s transcendent language, this 90 minute production re-imagines THE TEMPEST on a living, breathing island where its primal magic is conjured in the bodies and voices of a nine-actor ensemble. The omniscient Prospero stands apart, wielding the island’s power to manipulate monsters and spirits, kings and drunkards, a treacherous sibling and a daughter in love. But is Prospero’s ability to control the forces around him worth the isolation it brings?

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Hannah Todd (Director) is a third year Directing MFA candidate at Northwestern University, where she directed TRUE WEST in the Wallis Theater last season. She hails most recently from Washington, DC, where she is co-founder of We Happy Few Productions ( After graduating from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA and completing a directing internship at Portland Stage Company in Portland, ME, Hannah headed to DC for an Artistic Fellowship at Shakespeare Theatre Company. In DC, she assistant directed at Folger Theater (ORESTES: A TRAGIC ROMP, dir. Aaron Posner), Shakespeare Theatre (TWELFTH NIGHT, dir. Alan Paul; KING LEAR, dir. Robert Falls, starring Stacy Keach) and Studio Theatre (REASONS TO BE PRETTY, dir. David Muse), and directed for Theater Alliance, the Capital Fringe Festival and the Source Festival. Hannah also adapted and directed several Shakespeare plays for the radio with Lean & Hungry Theatre/WAMU 88.5. With We Happy Few, Hannah directed critically acclaimed productions of HAMLET, THE TEMPEST, ROMEO AND JULIET, and THE WINTER’S TALE. Since moving to Chicago, Hannah has assistant directed two world premieres at Northlight Theatre (FUNNYMAN, dir. B. J. Jones; SHINING LIVES, dir. Jessica Thebus). At Northwestern, Hannah’s First Year Directing Project was MISS JULIE.

Creative Team:

  • Scenic Designer: Gabrielle Chabot
  • Lighting Designer: Kaili Story
  • Costume Designer: Virginia Varland
  • Sound Design/Music Director: Kevin O’Donnell
  • Choreographer: Sylvia Hernandez
  • Composer: John Todd
  • Dramaturg: Grace Overbeke
  • Stage Manager: Josh Light

David Catlin (Prospero) an alum of Northwestern Theatre (SoC ’88), David Catlin is a founding ensemble member of Lookingglass Theatre Company and a member of the acting faculty here at Northwestern.  Recent Wirtz Center directing credits include MOBY DICK, THE MUSICAL ADVENTURES OF FLAT STANLEY, and THE LITTLE PRINCE.  In the fall of 2010, David appeared as Orgon in Moliere’s TARTUFFE  adapted and directed by Sean Graney.  Theatre-making credits for Lookingglass include MOBY DICK, LOOKINGGLASS ALICE, THE LITTLE PRINCE, ICARUS, BLACK DIAMOND (co-direction with Nicky Brooks), Kafka’s METAMORPHOSIS, Dostoevsky’s THE IDIOT, and THE MASTER & MARGARITA (co-direction with Heidi Stillman). On stage at Lookingglass, David has appeared in numerous plays including Mary Zimmerman’s productions of ARABIAN NIGHTS, ARGONAUTIKA, and THE ODYSSEY.  He played Doc Gibbs in the LTC production of OUR TOWN directed by Anna Shapiro & Jessica Thebus.  Other Lookingglass shows include HARD TIMES, LA LUNA MUDA, and THE JUNGLE. David has appeared locally in Chicago Children’s Theatre/Redmoon’s ELEPHANT & THE WHALE directed by Leslie Danzig & Frank Maugeri and in THE NUTCRAKER adapted and directed by Tommy Rapley for The House Theatre of Chicago. Regional theatre credits include Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Pittsburgh Metropolitan Stage Company, Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, McCarter Theater  (Princeton), The New Victory (NYC), Arden Theatre (Philadelphia), Actors Theatre (Louisville), Syracuse Stage, Alliance Theatre (Atlanta), Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation awarded David and Lookingglass Theatre Company with the foundation’s first ever Theatre Commissioning and Production Initiative grant to support Moby Dick as well provide for a future commission between playwright and company. With Lookingglass, David has served as Founding Artistic Director (with David Kersnar), Managing Director, Director of Artistic Development, and Artistic Director.  In addition to being an ensemble member, David serves on the Lookingglass board of directors.

The Actos Gymnasium. This marks the fourth collaboration between Northwestern University and The Actors Gymnasium. Past co-productions include MANUSCRIPT FOUND AT SARAGOSSA, THE LITTLE PRINCE and MOBY DICK. Providing the space and the people to help Northwestern’s daring students Learn to Fly is an integral part of AG’s mission. The Actors Gymnasium was established to bring a new physicality to the American Theatre - encouraging ground-breaking theatrical exploration and producing original, daring works of circus-theatre. The Actors Gymnasium also helps people Learn to Fly – physically, emotionally, and creatively – teaching circus arts, physical theatre, and multi-disciplinary performance to children and adults; and serving as a talent resource, providing performance opportunities for our students and innovative professional event entertainment for a wider audience. Learn more about The Actors Gymnasium at