Magic, mayhem, and madness unfold in this classic story of love, revenge, and forgiveness. Based on The Tempest by William Shakespeare, Bitterroot is a modern adaptation set in the American West. Prospero and his daughter Miranda have been stranded in the Montana wilderness for twelve years. When fate brings Prospero’s evil brother to Montana, Prospero must decide whether to exact his revenge or forgive his enemies. But can Prospero accept that his daughter wants to marry the son of an enemy? And can he forgive himself for the way he treated his servants Caliban and Ariel? Ultimately, it's up to the audience to decide Prospero’s fate in this highly theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic.
MICHAEL PROSPERO: The protagonist, father of Miranda and brother to Anthony. He and Alexander are the oldest characters in the play. He is gruff, sometimes cruel to his servants, but he is a kind and loving father. By the end of the play, he learns to forgive his enemies and let go of his bitterness.
MIRANDA: The daughter of Michael Prospero, Miranda was brought to the wilderness at an early age. Because she was raised by her father and has been sealed off from the world for so long, Miranda has no idea of the social conventions of the civilized world. She is strong, independent, and sometimes very stubborn. Yet, she is compassionate, generous, and loyal to her father.
ARIEL: Prospero’s spirit helper. She is mischievous and fun- loving, but also very loyal to Prospero. She leads a group of small spirits that are an extension of her magic.
CALIBAN: Another of Prospero’s servants. Caliban has lived in this land his entire life. Caliban believes that the land rightfully belongs to him and has been stolen by Prospero. He is angry and resentful of his circumstances.
FERDINAND: Son of Alexander. Ferdinand has lived a life of privilege and is naïve and innocent. He falls in love with Miranda at first sight. His views of the roles of men and women in society are very old fashioned, but he quickly learns that men and women can be equal.
ALEXANDER: Governor and father of Ferdinand. Alexander helped Anthony to take Prospero’s life away twelve years before. After the magical banquet, he regrets his part in unseating Prospero.
ANTHONY PROSPERO: Prospero’s brother. Anthony is power-hungry and rash. He is quick to take advantage of people and situations if he feels it will help him gain power.
SEBASTIAN: Alexander’s brother. Like Anthony, he is hungry for power, but he is sometimes afraid to act.
GREGORY: Servant to Alexander, Anthony, and Sebastian, and former servant to Prospero. He is honest, kind, and brave.
TREY and STEPHEN: Servants to Alexander, Anthony, and Sebastian, but they are more buffoonish and incompetent. They are clowns and provide most of the comic relief in the play.
CAPTAIN: A brave riverboat captain. He appears only in the first and last scenes of the play and can double as one of Ariel’s spirits.
CREW #1, #2, and #3: Sailors on the riverboat. Can double as Ariel’s spirits.
SPIRITS: These spirits are an extension of Ariel and her magic powers. They silently carry out most of Ariel’s magic. They move fluidly and provide the play with a sense that the entire land is magical, and nothing is what it seems.