A wizard and his daughter, a witch’s son and a spirit meet up with the crew and passengers of a ship wrecked in a storm on an enchanted island off Hunts Point on May 30.
The wizard, the spirits and the rest were fifth and sixth graders, putting on a performance of the Shakespeare play The Tempest at The Point’s Live from the Edge Theater. They performed to wild applause from the full house of parents, friends and residents.
The next day the show moved to Manhattan’s Julia Miles Theater, where it met a similar reception.
This was the second year that local schoolchildren under the banner of the Hunts Point Children’s Shakespeare Ensemble put on a complete production of a Shakespeare play, joining Shakespeare’s poetry and 17-century speech with original dances and songs.
The troupe was sponsored by the Hunts Point Alliance for Children and the Shakespeare Society of New York. The members of the company, who worked for most of the year to prepare, will be spending their summer in various educational programs, and some will be encountering Shakespeare again at Bank Street College.
The cast members attend PS 48, MS 424, St. Ignatius and Bronx Charter School for the Arts.
A number of seasoned professionals brought polish to the production. Raphael Peacock, whose acting credits include a number of Shakespeare plays, joined Rachel Zaslow as director. Rick Hip-Flores, whose resume as a musical director includes a number of Off-Broadway shows, composed the music. Samara Gaeve choreographed the dances.
Sarah Cubbage, whose credits include the Public Theater Shakespeare Lab and the Aquila Theater Company, designed the costumes, and Hunts Point’s own Studio 889, led by Alejandra Delfine designed the sets (which later doubled as a float in the Fish Parade). Paul Hudson designed the lighting.