The cast of “The Tempest” after a performance. The Chase Photo: Matthew Dale
The Eastern New Mexico University Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking
recently did a production of “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare. The play included both
student and adult actors, and was directed by Patrick McCreary, assistant professor of theatre at
ENMU. The play debuted Saturday, Feb. 22 on the main stage at the University Theatre Center,
and closed Sunday, March 1 after six performances.
“The Tempest” was written in the early 1600s and is also believed to be one of the final
plays Shakespeare wrote by himself. The play is set on an island off the coast of Italy where
Prospero, a former Duke of Milan, resides with his daughter, a servant and a spirit. The servant is
a disfigured person, who could also be considered as a monster, while the spirit also acts in
service to Prospero and his daughter.
At the beginning of the play, Prospero uses his power to create a large storm—a
tempest—that begins to sink a nearby ship which belongs to King Alonso of Naples. The ship is
carrying various people, including the king and his son Ferdinand. Prospero created the storm
because his brother and the King of Napes betrayed him and forced Prospero and his daughter
away from Italy, which is how they ended up on the island. During the course of the play,
Miranda, the daughter of Prospero, falls in love with Ferdinand. Throughout the play, there is a
plot to kill the King of Naples and a plot to kill Prospero. At the end of the play, Prospero
forgives all of the people who betrayed him and makes sure their ship is able to safely make it
back to Naples. Prospero allows Miranda to go back to Naples with Ferdinand where they will
The department’s production set was the island where most of the events occur. The set
contained only the few props that were needed to set the scene; most of the set was free space
which the actors wisely used to act out their scenes. The actors all performed their roles well, and
the direction of the play was amazing. The lead character, Prospero, was played by ENMU
student Darby Cavanaugh. Other cast members included Ariana Gasparlin, Kyra Gentry, Caleb
Ramsell, Manny Rivera, Jon Barr, Don Criss, Rose Kelly, John Rollinson, Nathan Gandara and
The play’s director, Patrick McCreary, has a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Principia
University in Illinois. He also has two master’s degrees: one in technical theatre and one in
theatre, performance both from Lindenwood University in Missouri. He worked in various
aspects of over one hundred different productions across the country. He has also written and
performed his own one-man shows and performed internationally in television, stage and opera.
Outside of the arts, McCreary has served as city councilman and mayor of Hutchinson, Kan.