MUST SEE: Caliban, Dancing

By Tamara Jenkins

“I always know what’s right, it’s just doing it”-this is just one of the many complicated emotions felt in the lives of the characters encompassing the story of Caliban, Dancing, the latest production from the n.u.f.a.n. ensemble.

Written by award winning playwright Evan Guilford-Blake; Caliban, Dancing deals with moral responsibility, long standing suffering, anger and family dysfunction that culminate on a day of mourning.

Set in modern day New York, Caliban, Dancing tells the story of the Sampson family- its matriarch, Kate a former ballet dancer now the sole caregiver her 10 year old granddaughter Karesa who has recently succumbed to her illness…..or did she?; Kate’s son, Christopher, a disfigured opera singer; Liza, Christopher’s ex wife and former ballet dancer now confined to a wheelchair; and Liza’s assistant Raquel.

Through flashbacks and plot twists and turns, the audience gets a sense of what was during happier times, what could have been without looming betrayal and suffering and what is within the morality of each character.

The heart of the story lies in Kate (brilliantly performed by actress Madeline Franklin) who seems to resent Liza because the spotlight has always been on her and Kate is forced to play in the background, something she’s never done as she’s always put herself first even before her son. Though Kate's a fighter, she’s never had to fight it seems until now. Life has been easy for her and she doesn’t understand why she’s now in the position to play caregiver to, it seems everyone.

Is she someone we should admire for her superficial selflessness or blame for the current circumstances that exist?

Evan Guilford-Blake has written a work that evokes real interaction among the characters. He uses the ballet Giselle by the French composer Adolphe Adam about a young peasant girl wooed by a nobleman only to have her heart broken by him; and Shakespeare'
The Tempest
which deals with fairness, morality, forgiveness and justice as his backdrop.

Caliban, Dancing is an incredible play, wonderfully written and acted and a must see.

The play will run at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through May 24th at the Chicago Actors Studio (2040 N. Elston Avenue). Tickets are $15 per person. For more information, please (773) 282-3444 or visit

Katherine Sampson…………….Madeline Franklin
Christopher Sampson………….Adam Krause
Liza Sampson………………….....Mary Czerwinski
Raquel Austen…………………...Camille Kuthrell
Karesa Sampson………………...Christina Zaeske

Share on Google Plus

About Tamara

This is a short description in the author block about the author. You edit it by entering text in the "Biographical Info" field in the user admin panel.


Post a Comment

Thank you for your post to UnRated Magazine - Chicago