Guest post by our Prospero, Michael Mykita

Hello, I’m Michael Mykita, and I’ll be playing the part of Prospero in The Tempest.  This part means a lot to me, mainly because I am so fascinated by the character.  Long before I became an actor I was a magician.  That all started when my third grade teacher brought a box of books to class and told us we could each have ONE to take home.  One of them was a book about performing magic, written in a simple style for children, but with some very clever tricks.  Magic became a fun hobby for years, always in the back of my mind while I was busy doing other things.

By the time I graduated with a degree in Computer Science my fondness for performing had begun to shift.  I still liked performing “tricks” with cards and coins, but my focus became the hidden abilities of the human mind.  A few decades later I had developed my skills to the point that I was able to give a reasonable psychic reading using palmistry, numerology, and other methods.  I began to perform my “psychic house parties” in living rooms around western Pennsylvania and doing readings at proms, banquets, and black-tie events.  My biggest honor was being asked to read palms for a special event by the Edgar Allan Poe museum in Baltimore.

During this time I was also studying acting, and I aimed to develop and perform a show that combined magical elements with an intriguing story.  This led me to write Tea and Spirits, an interactive theatrical séance.  Over time I met several brilliant local entertainers, and together we have combined our disciplines to form the Much Ado Players, a group that does comedy, improvisation, music, and side-show stunts, though usually not all at once.

Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks is an exciting opportunity for me.  Rather than being on stage, I am at my happiest when I’m right there on level with the audience and interacting with them.  I also love the unique challenges that an outdoor venue contains, like noise, dogs, airplanes, Frisbees, and other unexpected interruptions.  I’m looking forward to playing Shakespeare’s ultimate magician for the people of Pittsburgh in the beautiful settings of the city’s parks.


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