“I long to hear the story of your life, which must take the ear strangely.” —The Tempest.

Bringing together a classic Shakespearean tale and 200+ community cast members, the Public Works production of THE TEMPEST wholeheartedly embraces the belief that theatre should be “of, by, and for the people.” Holding this conviction as the production’s core, The Story Project seeks to celebrate exactly who the “people” are, by allowing us a window into their lives.

Partnering with five major community groups from the five boroughs—The DreamYard Project, The Children’s Aid Society, The Brownsville Recreation Center, Fortune Society, and Domestic Workers United—Public Works has gathered a talented and diverse group for the cast of THE TEMPEST. The Story Project lets us learn about our incredible partner organizations and to connect to the individuality of each of our community cast members.

On these pages, you will find interviews with many of our community ensemble members in which they talk about their background, age and life experience. Our cast threads their unique selves into THE TEMPEST‘s quilt; here we get to examine those threads in detail. The Story Project is our invitation to everyone who comes to see this production to take hands with us, to lift high the belief that theatre reaches its greatest potential when it is indeed of, by, and for the people.

This program is made possible with the generous support of the Ford Foundation.