Cirque du Soleil's Amaluna to put female spin on The Tempest
Diane Paulus directs Cirque show that swaps Prospera for Prospero
The Cirque du Soleil's newest production Amaluna will put a feminine spin on William Shakespeare's The Tempest.
The Montreal-based acrobatic and artistic troupe unveiled details on Monday about Amaluna, a new show directed by American stage and opera director Diane Paulus.
The Cirque's 32nd production loosely follows the plot of the Bard's The Tempest in its tale of a sorceress named Prospera who governs a mysterious island, according to organizers. In the wake of a storm she causes, a group of young men become stranded in her domain and Prospera's daughter falls in love with one of them.
In 2010, Julie Taymor released a film adaptation of The Tempest in which the traditional sorcerer Prospero became Prospera, with the role played by Helen Mirren. The gender-swap device has been used in various stage productions in recent years.
Paulus, head of the American Repertory Theatre at Harvard University, has developed a reputation for creating contemporary, pop-influenced adaptations of stage and opera classics with her playwright and producer husband, Randy Weiner (who will serve as dramaturge of Amaluna).
Her credits include the controversial new Broadway production The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess, the Tony-winning 2009 revival of '60s counterculture musical Hair, the 2011 Canadian Opera Company production of Mozart's The Magic Flute and The Donkey Show, a disco adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream that ran off-Broadway from 1999-2005.
Amaluna, which marks the first collaboration between Paulus and Cirque, opens in Montreal in April before moving to Quebec City in July and Toronto in September.
More than 1,300 performers are starring in 22 Cirque current shows in permanent venues and touring productions around the globe.