POULTNEY - The Poultney Summer Theatre Co. Shakespeare on Main Street presents this year William Shakespeare's "The Tempest".
Performances are scheduled for July 30-31, Aug. 1, Aug. 6-7 at 7 p.m., and Aug. 8 at 2 p.m.
One character that cannot go unnoticed in "The Tempest" is Caliban portrayed by Maris Wolff. This reptilian fish monster comes alive with Wolff's dancing. Her elaborate costume matches her energy and representation of Caliban.
"Caliban is a complex character that I truly love," said Wolff, "This character is angry at Prospero who stole the island from him. He is terrified of Prospero and lashes out at him knowing he'll pay for it. Caliban just goes with his gut feelings with raw passion."
Wolff said, "Caliban knows the island intimately and feels when someone is afraid because he is a sensualist. He is also tender, bitter, many different things, but he has empathy. Caliban also loves getting liquor from them and man, does Caliban like it!"
Wolff's dancing all began with her mother's profession as a singer, stage name, Nicole Scott, who performed at New York's Carnegie Hall.
"While my mother sang, she told me that I danced within her, and I came out dancing." Wherever her mother rehearsed, received coaching, or performed, Wolff danced every moment she heard the beat of any music.
One of Scott's vocal coaches said, "This child needs dance lessons," and from that point on at the age of five, Wolff first felt the ballet barre and knew that was home for her.
"A huge light came down upon me, and I said, 'Yes, this is what I'm going to be for the rest of my life.'"
A professor of dance at Johnson State College in Johnson, Vt. since 1977, Wolff shares her training and experiences gained throughout her life, i.e., a student at the George Balanchine School of American Ballet. Wolff reflected and said, "This was the best school ever, and I had some of the well-renowned teachers from around the world."
Through her training and passion of dance, Wolff performed not only in New York's Lincoln Center, but she also taught, choreographed, and danced abroad in Europe, England, and Africa.
Wolff, now a freelancer, has worked with many companies and loves all kinds of dance. The first company she worked with, the Metropolitan Opera House, led her to other companies and had her blossoming with all types of repertory companies. She has and continues the gamut of dance.
"My specialty is historical dance from the 15th-20th centuries," said Wolff. "Through dance we show how people developed and learn about history being in people's shoes and clothing."
"I love dance theater collaboration meshing the music, dancing, and acting altogether. That way you get to work more in about humanity and go to people's souls," said Wolff. "It's a harmonious blending of all talents."
She continued, "Music is powerful. Even if someone does not understand the words, the movement of dance can speak and inform."
How did Wolff find Gary Meitrott and the Poultney Summer Theatre Co.? They met through Rip Jackson, the minister of Grace Church in Rutland.
"There is so much talent here in the Poultney senior and junior companies, and it should be acknowledged," said Wolff. "Come and see for yourself!"
Although one of the main characters in "The Tempest," Maris assists with The Poultney Summer Theatre Junior Co. with the upcoming performance of "Macbeth".
In addition to teaching at Johnson State College, Wolff founded and is the director of the Vermont Dance Collective. VDC offers a variety of programs for all sorts of occasions, including school enrichment.
Performances for both "The Tempest" and "Macbeth" will be held on the lawn behind St. Raphael's Church located on Main Street, Poultney. Tickets for "The Tempest" cost $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens, and free for children 12 and younger, and the cost for "Macbeth" is $5.
For further information on tickets, contact at 802-287-4270 or Pstc802@gmail.com