Spring play is professor’s last college curtain call

Staff report


William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” will come to life on the Grove City College stage at 7:30 p.m. April 16-18 in Ketler Auditorium of the Pew Fine Arts Center on campus.

The college’s spring play is co-directed by James Dixon III, chairman of the English department and professor of English, and Betsy Craig (’77), professor of English and director of the theatre program.

The play will be the last one that Dixon, who has influenced thousands of students in the classroom and on the stage, will be involved in as a full-time Grove City College faculty member. Dixon, who is retiring at the end of the spring semester, will join the cast in the central role of Prospero.

“I have been privileged to teach literature and theater and to direct plays at Grove City College for the last 39 years,” Dr. Dixon noted. “For most of those years, I have also taught Shakespeare’s final play, ‘The Tempest.’ Now that I am coming to the end of my career, my longtime colleague and co-director, Betsy Craig, has prevailed upon me to play the part of Prospero, the magician, through whom Shakespeare announced his own retirement from the theater. So Shakespeare’s final play will be my final play as well. It is a daunting but exciting challenge, and it will be bittersweet to say, with Prospero, one last time: ‘Our revels now are ended ...’”

Shakespeare combines fantasy, romance and comedy into a fascinating drama of revenge and reconciliation in “The Tempest.” Prospero, the former Duke of Milan, and his daughter Miranda live on a deserted island with the savage brute Caliban, their slave, and Ariel, a spirit who assists Prospero in his magic.

Prospero conjures up a violent tempest at sea to bring the enemies who usurped him 12 years earlier to their island and, having stage managed all the events to their proper conclusion, he gives up his magic and retires back to his dukedom in Milan in the end.

After the performance, a reception will take place in the Pew Memorial Room in Pew Fine Arts Center with the chance to meet and greet Dixon. The reception is open to public, and refreshments will be served.

Tickets can be reserved at www.gcc.edu/tickets.

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