Tempest Twist

By: Amanda Narcisi


Pittsburgh Public Theater is kicking off 2019 with a show that will push an envelope and bring magic to the theater. The Tempest, Shakespeare’s classic play, comes to The Public in January.

Mayra’s Magic

The Tempest marks the debut of Marya Sea Kaminski of director, after taking on Artistic Director this season. Marya Sea Kaminski adds lots of magic, some twists and turns to this show.

The Tempest Twist

In Marya Sea Kaminski adaptation starts with a silent scene in a Pittsburgh hospital room in the oncology ward. In the bed is Prospero, played by star Tamara Tunie, and she has late stage breast cancer. In the classic play, Prospero is angered by his brother and the king stole his dukedom. However, in Marya version, Prospero begins to dream where she is transported to a magical island full of fairies and sprites, and the turmoil stems from betrayal over family abandonment over her illness.

After a rough winter we get to meet the inhabitants of this island. Prospero’s Daughter, Miranda, the sprite named Ariel and a creature named Claiban currently enslaved. There are also two nymphs, Ceres and Iris. Also on the island after a shipwreck is Prospero’s deceitful sister Tonio, Queen Alonso, her child Ferdinand, Alonso’s sister Sebastian and Advisor Gonzalo. Throw into the mix a jester, Trinculo, and a clownish cook, Stefano. The Pittsburgh Youth Chorus will sing and play the spirits of the island. A lot happens on the island, mostly comedic and magical, but at the heart of the story is Prospero move from betrayal to forgiveness. 

Tamara Tunie Returns Home

Tamara Tunie plays the lead role in this adaptation of The Tempest. Tamara Tunie was born in McKeesport and attended Steel Valley High School and Carnegie Mellon University school of Drama. She is most known for her role as Jessica Griffen on the daytime drama, “As the World Turns” and as medical examiner Melinda Warner on “Law & Order, Special Victims Unit”. Recently, she stared in “Dietland” and “Black Earth Rising”. Tamara has graced the stage as a performer and producer including appearing on Broadway in Shakespeare Julius Caesar. 

Special Event Night

Dr. Angela Keleher, director of Allegheny Health Network’s Division of Breast Surgery will join us for a Q&A on Sun., Jan. 27 beginning at 6 pm. The Show will follow at 7PM. These tickets are $35 and can be purchased at ppt.org and use the code PPTAHN or call 412.316.8200 ext. 704.

The Tempest begins January 24th and runs through the February 24th. Showtimes vary based on day and opening night is February 1st. Tickets start at $30 and are available by calling 412.316.1600, go to ppt.org, or visit the O’Reilly Theater Box Office. 



For more show this year visit our piece on Welcome Home and grab a bite at The Warren.