Shakespeare goes sci fi on the Modesto stage this month.
The Modesto Junior College theater department stages the Bards “The Tempest” with a science-fiction twist. The play runs Oct. 20-29 at the east campus Performing and Media Arts Center.
MJC theater professor Michael Lynch directs his own adaptation of the play, setting “The Tempest” on a “forbidden planet” in the year 3025, where Earth has been divided into 12 empires under several dukedoms.
The play maintains Shakespeare's original language, according to Lynch, with added dialogue to update it to the genre of a sci-fi movie, circa the 1950s.
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Technology has been incorporated to enhance the sci-fi theme, including a hologram crystal, lasers, cyborgs, aliens of all galaxies, starships and monsters.
In the play, a roaring space tempest has been instigated by the exiled duke, Prospero, who takes revenge on his sister, Antonia. Antonia usurped him 12 years earlier, stranding him on the forbidden planet with his young daughter, Miranda.
The play stars Dean Medek as Prospero, Robin Bjerke as Antonia and Becky Bjerke as Miranda. Other cast members include Francine LaMeire, Bear Unruh and Renata Navarro.
“The Tempest” is staged at 7 p.m. Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 26-28, as well as at 2 p.m. Oct. 29, in the performing arts center auditorium on the MJC East Campus, 435 Ave., Modesto.
Tickets are $11 general, $9 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call 209-575-6776.
Elsewhere around the scene
▪ Classic blues/rock band The Fabulous Thunderbirds brings its music to a show Friday, Oct. 13, in Modesto.
The group known for hits such as “Tuff Enuff and “Wrap It Up,” plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Gallo Center for the Arts, 1000 I St., Modesto. Tickets are $49-$79. See www.galloarts.org.
▪ Also at the Gallo Center comes iluminate, on Thursday, Oct. 19, a dance troupe that tells a story of adventure and romance with music, art and technological magic. Dance styles range from contemporary to hip-hop, Latin to breaking, with high-tech effects and original music.
The show is at 7 p.m. at the Gallo Center. Tickets are. $19-$49 at www.galloarts.org.
▪ The State Theatre brings a comedic one-act improvised play to its stage on Saturday, Oct. 14. “Z is for Zombie: An Improvised Apocalypse” plays a zombie apocalypse for laughs, telling the story of a town where no one knows who still is human and who is the walking dead – not even the cast.
The play begins at 6 p.m. at the State Theatre, 1307 J St., Modesto. Tickets are $6-$12. See www.thestate.org.