Seniors take field trip to see “The Tempest”


Scott Suchman

Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” is playing at the Round House Theatre.

Simon Albert, Incoming News Editor

Seniors took a class field trip on Wednesday, Dec. 14  to see “The Tempest” at Round House Theatre. The last few years, JDS did not send students to see theatrical productions due to COVID-19, making this trip especially meaningful. 

“Pre-pandemic, we would take every grade to the theater. Obviously, that stopped when the pandemic happened and theaters were shut down. Even when we returned to the building, not all theaters had reopened, and most were not conducting school matinees,” Director of Arts Education David Solomon said. “This was our first high school theater trip since the building closed in 2020 and the middle school also had their theater trips on the same day.” 

Solomon describes “The Tempest” as a story about betrayal, justice, and power, with a love story woven in. The main character, Prospero, is overthrown by his brother and exiled to a remote island with his daughter. There, he learns magic and becomes master of some of the creatures on the island, one of whom plots against him. Prospero conjures a shipwreck and brings the very people who exiled him to the island. 

“I thought the plot was really interesting. It was Shakespeare so it was a little difficult to follow at times, but once people explained it to me, it got a lot better,” senior Singerman said. “Overall it was interesting to see what each character wanted and how they would get there.” 

A lot of planning went into this trip from both teachers and administrators at JDS and the education department at Round House Theatre. Solomon said JDS students were very lucky to be given free tickets, especially because shows have been sold out recently. 

“This opportunity was unique because you don’t often get to go to a really nice theater and get to see a really well done production for free,” Singerman said. “Being able to see a Shakespeare show done in this way instead of it being really straightforward like from a book was really special – not to mention the creative liberties the directors took.” 

This showing of “The Tempest” features magic directed by Teller of Penn and Teller, and dance choreographed by Pilobolus Dance Company, whose work is easily recognizable by the acrobatics, shapes, and poses that emerge from the dancers. High school English teacher Dory Fox attended the field trip as a chaperone and was especially impressed by technical aspects of the show. 

“Something special about this show was that they used a lot of magic and it was all stuff that could be done in Shakespeare’s day,” Fox said. “No technology went beyond what existed then and that was really impressive. There was lots of spectacular and intriguing stuff. It was definitely a unique way to present “The Tempest.”

Solomon views the field trip as a success and plans to take all the high school classes on theater field trips in the coming months. Above all, he hopes to convey the importance of the arts and how they contribute to a well-balanced and informed curriculum. 

“The arts teach us a great deal about what it means to be human. When we participate in the arts, our critical thinking skills improve, we gain greater appreciation of differences of ideas, cultures and backgrounds, and we become more empathic people,” Solomon said. “The arts also provide valuable community experiences. We experience the arts as individuals and as a shared experience. In a world of cell phones, computer screens, alienating tasks and chores, the arts provide us with profound moments of connection.”