“The opportunity to return to my old company as an actor and work with this new generation of creative thinkers and their exciting ideas for the future is a treat,” said Nesbitt, who plays Gonzalo. “Of course I would love to say I taught them everything they know, but I'd be lying. In fact, I've learned far more from their example!”
Andrew Codispoti and Jessie Chapman are the company’s current Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively. Together they are helming this, the company’s 15th Summer Season in Sandwich. So far the season has included a production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised], which played at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse and at the Sandwich Town Hall Theatre in July, as well as the company’s popular Wednesday night Summer Concert Series, which will continue through August, and several play readings.
The Tempest will serve as the season’s capstone. “When it came to planning this Summer’s season there was really only one choice,” said Codispoti, the show’s director. “This is the 400th year since Shakespeare’s death in 1616, and we’re celebrating his legacy all year long. It seems appropriate to produce The Tempest, possibly the last play he wrote.”
Robert Bates will be playing Prospero, the banished Duke and magician who speaks the words many have interpreted as Shakespeare’s farewell to his career in the theatre. But when ATTP produced The Tempest the first time round, at The Barnstormers Theatre in 2005, Nesbitt played Prospero, and Bates played a very different character.
“Now that I am playing Prospero instead of Stephano, the drunken butler, I will have to learn many more lines, be not funny, and I suppose stay sober,” said Bates, tongue firmly in cheek.
Indeed, Bates has been with the company since the very beginning in 1999. “This has been a joyous, educational and challenging ride through Shakespeare's literary world since playing Iago (my favorite role by the way) in our first production, Othello. My greatest pleasure during these many years since has been to play with, observe and get to know so many smart, energetic, hard working and talented young people, and to have the privilege of watching them grow both on stage and in life on their journey to adulthood.”
“It is an honor,” said Codispoti, “to be working again with Caroline and Bob, who’ve been mentors to me ever since I joined this company fresh out of college.”
You can see Bates and Nesbitt in ATTP’s The Tempest at the Sandwich Fairgrounds Stage, August 4th – 7th, 10th, & 11th, at 5:30 PM, and at the Sandwich Town Hall Theatre, August 12th – 14th, Friday & Saturday at 7:30 PM, Sunday at 2:00 PM. Information and tickets: www.advicetotheplayers.org, or call 284-7115.