Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara

Young Sycorax (Laura Capkanis) schemes with her stepdaughters (Hui-Shan Yong and Taylor Graves) to destroy the patriarchy in Ego Actus’ production of Fengar Gael’s Sycorax: Cyber Queen of Qamara at HERE. Original photo by Al Foote III.

By Andrew Andrews

Long ago, a famous story was written about a wicked witch on an island ruled by a mysterious wizard, where an innocent young lady from far away is deposited by a storm.

Many, many decades later, a new author wrote a revisionist exploration of the characters and land of the original story, this time telling the tale from the wicked witch’s perspective.

Shortly after said prequel was released, a theater company in New York City decided to produce it as a musical.

Kinda.

We’re speaking, of course, about Sycorax: Cyber Queen of Qamara, Ego Actus Theatre Company’s production of Fengar Gael’s imagined biography of the wicked witch described (but never seen) in The Tempest by William Shakespeare.

What... were you thinking of something different?

Long before the wizard Prospero and his innocent daughter Miranda were shipwrecked on the island Qamara, the young witch Sycorax (Lauren Capkanis) was banished there from Algiers to give birth to her son Caliban (Michael Pichardo).

And everything was just fine until she brought to life a carving of “the perfect man,” Ariel (Nick Giedris).

Ariel, it turns out, developed a mind of his own… although, as men are often accused, it was a one-track mind controlled not by what’s between his ears, but what’s between his legs.

Five hundred years later, the old witch Sycorax (Sandra Bargman) takes over the World Wide Web to narrate her story, with electronic avatars played by the cast, including Taylor Graves, Kelly D. Cooper, Brianna Fernandez and Hui-Shan Yong.

Unlike a more famous Broadway musical about a more famous witch—which, in all honesty, put us to sleep when we finally saw it a few years ago!—Sycorax held our attention from beginning to end, with actors chock-full of talent delivering lively characters in creative costumes (Jeff Sturdivant) and a fun, engaging plot that hasn’t been dumbed-down for the masses.

So check it out, then come back here and tell us how much you enjoyed learning this backstory that’s finally been told.

Your reviews can help others decide whether Sycorax is the wicked witch they should buy a ticket to catch, and your ratings help us help you find future performances you’re sure to love!

4

Andrew Andrews attended Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara at HERE Dorothy B. Williams Theatre in New York on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 @ 4:00pm to write this review.

Next Up:

In Your Face - New York

Kaufman Music Center

Read It Now!