Getting caught up in The Storm

Story by Valentina Garcia, Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of AQ Theatre 


This past week, the Aquinas College Theatre Department put on another outstanding performance. You may have found yourself caught up in The Storm on February 18, 19, 20, or 21.

The Storm is advertised as “an ‘Appalling Mistranslation’ by Peter Oswald of a Comedy of Plautus.” The play it was translated from is a Roman comedy called Rudens.

In the hilarious “mistranslation”, you follow the story of a shipwreck that occurs due to a storm. The survivors of the wreck make their way onto an island, inhabited only by a man named Daemones (played by TJ Corbett, returning student to Aquinas), his slave Sceparnio (played by Brock Gabbert, sophomore), and Ptolemocratia, who worships Venus in the temple (played by Zoë Gipson, senior.)

Their lives appear to have been pretty uneventful until the sea storm takes place. Daemones was a sad man because he lost his fortune and his daughter, Palaestra (played by Julia Glynn, sophomore), was kidnapped at the age of 2.

Palaestra’s kidnappers made her into a prostitute and with help of the storm she and her best (read: only) friend, Ampelisca (played by Jessi Towell, senior), get away from their pimp, Labrax (played by Daniel Cole, junior) and his apprentice, Charmides (played by Kenny Judge, junior).

Coincidentally, the storm that frees Palaestra and Ampelisca also leads Palaestra to her father. The comedy ends with them reunited and with two happy couples (and the promise of a third).

Director and Aquinas theatre professor Kyle Westmaas said The Storm deals with “adult themes shown lightheartedly.”

There is rediscovery, as father and daughter reunite. Going beyond this, characters rediscover themselves; Palaestra ends the show with the name Diana.

The topic of freedom is also discussed. Gabbert plays a slave that longs for freedom.

“Even when there are no slaves, there will still be people that aren’t free,” he reflects upon while looking at the sea.

While these topics sound serious, they really were presented in a merry way.
This play was written 2,000 years ago, but this does not take away from its enjoyability.

“[The Storm is a] 2,000 year old comedy, but the jokes still work,” Westmaas said.

And the jokes most certainly do work, the audience was laughing the whole time. This could not have been achieved without the acting of the ensemble.

From the Priestesses’ (played by Lauren Heyboer, freshman and Justina Ouellette, sophomore) dance moves, to the crew member that got to be a random airplane to Gabbert’s great portrayal of Sceparnio (easily the character that made everyone laugh the most), the audience was able to laugh and laugh.

If you missed The Storm sadly, you also missed out on a lot of great puns.
Make sure you don’t miss out on the final AQ theatre production of the year, Enchanted April by Matthew Barber.

It will be showing April 14 to the 17 at the Performing Arts Center, located on-campus.


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