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Reimagining Shakespeare: Pepperdine's "The Tempest" with a Fresh Twist



MALIBU, CA – March 19, 2024 –  Pepperdine University's acclaimed Theatre department is delighted to announce its upcoming production of "The Tempest," scheduled to run from April 3 to April 6, 2024, at Smothers Theatre on the university's picturesque Malibu campus.

Known as Shakespeare’s masterpiece and the last play that he ever wrote, “The Tempest” tells the story of loss, restoration, injury and healing, fault and forgiveness. Set on an enchanted island, a magician and his lovely daughter live with a motherless cub of a wicked witch along with spirits of the air, water, earth, and wind. A shipwreck and mighty winds carry a king, his son, a duke, and all of their entourage onto shore. Separated by the storm, these wandering souls bring laughter, love, and ultimately the reconciliation of a family torn apart by a political rebellion.

Director Cathy Thomas-Grant remarks on the importance of this show for such a time as this: “For me, 'The Tempest' is an escape from all the suffering and unrest in our world right now. There is humor, there is love, there is forgiveness and redemption all packed in this play.” 

Pepperdine’s rendition also explores key roles in an exciting new light: “Pepperdine’s production also features the unconventional casting of women in roles originally written for men, refocusing the plot around the major dilemmas afflicting the story’s main characters and creating more obvious thematic turning points,” says Thomas-Grant. “Shakespeare is traditionally very male heavy. Expanding the gender pool adds texture and interest to the text. A mother-daughter relationship, for instance, is a lot different than a father-daughter one.”

By adding nuance to Shakespeare’s text, Thomas-Grant hopes Pepperdine’s version can more intentionally underscore the key messages of the show and provide a ray of light in the current cultural moment.

Tickets, priced at $15 for the public and $10 for full-time Pepperdine students, are available now by calling (310) 506-4522 or online at the "The Tempest" event page.

About the Pepperdine University Fine Arts Division

The Pepperdine University Fine Arts Division offers students excellent training in the disciplines of studio art, art history, music, and theatre arts. A group of renowned faculty who are revered in their fields as practicing scholars, artists and teachers prepare students for careers in the arts and continued graduate study. With approximately 300 students in the division, the unique programs are designed to prepare and inspire students to develop critical thinking, nurture creativity, and create the highest level of art and scholarship.

About the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts
Delighting more than 50,000 patrons and participants annually with live performances, art exhibitions, and local outreach opportunities, the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts serves as a hub for the arts on Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus, uniquely linking professional guest artists with Pepperdine students as well as patrons from surrounding Southern California communities. Three performance spaces, including the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 124-seat Raitt Recital Hall, and the “black box” Lindhurst Theatre, host hundreds of performances, rehearsals, and master classes throughout the year. The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, a dynamic, two-story exhibition space, showcases a revolving selection of modern and contemporary art with a focus on art made in California.

Event Details

WHAT: Pepperdine Theatre’s “The Tempest”
WHEN: Wednesday, April 3–Saturday, April 6, 2024
WHERE: Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA
TICKETS: (310) 506-4522 or "The Tempest" event page
PRICES: Tickets priced at $15 



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Media Contact

Ericka Sherrill
Marketing and Publicity Manager, Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts