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A Wolff becomes Caliban

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."

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