Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Jamestown Settlement to stage Shakespeare shipwreck romance

William Shakespeare’s romance, “The Tempest,” was inspired by the story of a 1609 shipwreck on Bermuda. The passengers survived and sailed to Virginia the following year. (Courtesy Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation)

A William Shakespeare play with Historic Triangle ties is coming to Jamestown in September.

An adaption of “The Tempest” — depicting how Shakespeare’s romance would have been staged by colonists — will have a six-night outdoor run at Jamestown Settlement on Sept. 14-16 and Sept. 21-23, according to a release.

Though lesser known than Shakespeare’s much-adapted “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Tempest” was inspired by the story of the Sea Venture, a Jamestown-bound English supply ship that wrecked on Bermuda in 1609. The passengers survived, built two smaller ships in Bermuda and sailed to Virginia in 1610.

Performances will start on the Susan Constant at 7 p.m., with the drama of the storm. The action will then shift to the re-created colonial fort and kick off again at 7:45 p.m., after a procession of music and dancers.

The Guild of the Virginia Shakespeare Festival and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation are staging the production. It is sponsored by the 2019 Commemoration, AMERICAN EVOLUTION, which spotlights Virginia events from 1619 that still resonate today.

Performances are limited to 150 people.

Tickets cost $20 for adults and $18 for children aged six to 16, senior citizens and groups of 15 or more. Children under six may attend for free.

Doors open at 6 p.m. There will be an Elizabethan Fair pre-show at the ships’ pier.

For more information, call 757-253-4838 or go here.

Joan Quigley
Joan Quigley is a former Miami Herald business reporter, a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and an attorney. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post,, and Talking Points Memo. Her recent book, Just Another Southern Town: Mary Church Terrell and the Struggle for Racial Justice in the Nation’s Capital, was shortlisted for the 2017 Mark Lynton History Prize. Her first book, The Day the Earth Caved In: An American Mining Tragedy, won the 2005 J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award.

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