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Written by Sarah Bachhiesl
An aging Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival and sometimes actor. He marries his wife Nadia when he is middled-aged. Their daughter Miranda is born a year later and Nadia dies of complications after the birth. Three years later his young daughter dies suddenly from an illness, which plunges him into a depression that he tries to distract himself from with a new staging of The Tempest.
He is fired by the Board during the planning stages of The Tempest because they think he is mentally unstable and the direction he is taking the play in is too outlandish and will draw intense criticism. His position is taken by his former protegee, Tony and he feels immense anger and betrayal over this. He leaves the town of Makeshewig and lives in a small, remote cabin under the alias of Mr. Duke.
He can be somewhat manipulative, knowing when and how to stroke a person’s ego in order to get them to do his bidding. He is filled with thoughts of revenge against Tony and the people he feels betrayed him. His deceased daughter Miranda is also always in the back of his mind and maintains a huge presence in his life for years after her death. His character mirrors that of Prospero in The Tempest and he casts himself in this role in his prison production.
Anthony "Tony" Price
Felix’s rival at the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival and main antagonist of the story. He usurps Felix’s position as Artistic Director and plays a role in his termination at the Festival, which is the only thing Felix still has in his life after the deaths of his wife and daughter. Tony goes on to win accolades and is eventually elected as a Member of Provincial Parliament and later the Heritage Minister at the federal level. He is a serious social climber and has no problem treading on others in order to get ahead.
When he believes that he and Sebert are speaking privately amidst the prison coup, he proposes that they kill both Sal and Lonnie and make it appear as if the prisoners did it. This would clear the way for Sebert to win leadership of his political party. He seems to make these suggestions of murder lightly, without any remorse, all for the sake of moving himself up in the world, showing that his scheming has no limits. His character is mirrored with that of the antagonist Antonio in The Tempest.
An Ontarian politician. At the beginning of the novel he is the Heritage Minister before going on to become the Justice Minister at the federal level. He works closely with the Festival Board and Tony. Felix feels betrayed by him when he loses his position at the Festival, knowing that Sal is partly to blame.
Later in the story, Sal is in the running to become the federal party leader, although he’s made many enemies with a reputation for using people and then discarding them. He quickly becomes extremely distraught once the prison coup gets under way and believes they’ve killed his son, similar to Alonso’s dejection in The Tempest when he believes his son Ferdinand has drowned. His son Freddie is very dear to him, although he tries to control Freddie. His character is mirrored with that of Alonso in The Tempest.
Minister of Veteran Affairs and one of the three politicians that make a visit to the Fletcher prison for Felix’s play. He is running against Sal for the position of federal party leader and is described as being a “weak-spined yes-man” with ancestors who were also politicians. His character is mirrored with that of Sebastian in The Tempest.
Frederick “Freddie” O’Nally
Sal’s adult son and aspiring actor and director. Sal loves him but doesn’t agree with his choice to become an actor/director and plans on forcing him to go to law school.
Freddie quickly falls in love with Anne-Marie upon meeting her and eventually is hired as Assistant Director at the Makeshiweg Festival. His character is mirrored with that of Ferdinand in The Tempest.
An actress, dancer, and former gymnast who is cast in the role of Miranda in The Tempest as a teenager before the production gets cancelled and Felix is fired. She is hired by Felix twelve years later to play the same role in his Fletcher Correctional Players production of The Tempest at the jail. Similar to their roles of Miranda and Prospero, Anne-Marie and Felix share a close, father-daughter bond, despite not actually being related. She falls in love with Freddie by the end of the story, similar to Miranda and Ferdinand in The Tempest.
Chair of the Makeshiweg Festival Board. He is described as a “decent man but a paralyzing bore”. He is sentimental and tries to save Felix’s job but is outvoted by the rest of the Board. During the prison coup, he tries to calm Sal by pointing out their pleasant surroundings, similar to Gonzalo in The Tempest trying to cheer Alonso by praising the island they’re stuck on. He’s shown to have a positive outlook and represents the kindly councillor Gonzalo in The Tempest.
A professor with government connections who runs the Literacy Through Literature program at Fletcher County Correctional Institute and hires Felix for the teaching job there. She enjoys a friendly relationship with Felix and is passionate about the prison program. She does numerous favors for Felix in order to keep the program thriving.
An inmate at Fletcher Correctional who is described as being of East Indian descent, bright, knowledgeable with tech, and approximately twenty-three years old. He sees himself as a Robin Hood character, stealing from the rich, and is convicted of hacking and forgery. He is cast by Felix in the role of Ariel in the prison production of The Tempest and eventually gets early parole for helping Felix. This is similar to the character of Ariel being set free after helping Prospero. He previously played the role of Rivers in Felix’s Fletcher production of Richard III.
An inmate at Fletcher, convicted of breaking-and-entering and assault. He previously spent time at an addiction treatment centre before that program was cancelled. He is described as being around 30 years old with red hair, freckles and a heavy build. He has a mixed background of Irish and black. He is a war veteran who served in Afghanistan and suffered from PTSD. Was in several of Felix’s other productions before being cast as Caliban in The Tempest.
An inmate at Fletcher and student in Felix’s prison class, he is described as being around 25, clean-cut, handsome and seemingly sincere. He is convicted of fraud, having sold fake life insurance to seniors. He formerly played MacDuff and Hastings in Felix’s production of Richard III before being cast as Ferdinand in The Tempest.
An inmate at Fletcher, he is approximately 45 with a Mennonite background and a “long horse-face”. He was a member of a Mennonite drug ring and suffers from depression. A student in the prison literacy program, he previously played the role of Banquo in Felix’s production of Macbeth before being cast as Alonso in The Tempest.
Phil the Pill
An inmate and student in Felix’s prison class, Phil is of Vietnamese descent, around 40, and a former medical doctor charged with the deaths of 3 college students from overdosing on prescription drugs he had prescribed them. He is easily manipulated and feels wrongly accused, saying that the students had begged him to help them. Formerly played the role of Buckingham in Richard III before being cast as Sebastian in The Tempest.
A former accountant convicted of embezzlement, he is an inmate and student in Felix’s prison class. He is smart and respected by his fellow inmates who feel that he can help them. Formerly acted in Felix’s productions of Macbeth and Julius Caesar before being cast as Gonzalo in The Tempest.
An inmate and student in Felix’s prison class, described as being slim, Italian background, and around 35 years old with a sense of entitlement. He held a forged law degree and was convicted of real-estate scams and a ponzi scheme. Formerly played the title characters of Macbeth and Richard III in Felix’s previous productions and is cast as Antonio in The Tempest. He is noted as playing the roles of villains well.
An inmate and student in Felix’s prison class, he is in his 20s with an Indigenous background and convicted of bootlegging. Acted in Felix’s previous Fletcher productions before being cast as Stephano in The Tempest.
An inmate and student in Felix’s prison class, convicted of running a shoplifting ring. He is of half-Chinese descent with a round, pale face and pretends to be less intelligent than he actually is. He fools around a lot and is described as a “natural clown”. Previously acted in Felix’s other Fletcher productions before being cast as Trinculo in The Tempest.
An inmate and student in Felix’s prison class and convicted of assault and gang connections. He has a Mexican background and previously played Lord Grey in Felix’s Richard III.
An inmate and student in Felix’s prison class, convicted of gang-related assault and extortion. He is African Canadian and a dancer and is cast in the role of Boatswain in The Tempest.
The daughter of Felix. She dies at age three from meningitis and maintains a ghostly presence in Felix’s life for the next 12 years. She represents the character of Ariel in The Tempest and is similarly let go by Felix once he feels vindicated at the end.
Felix’s wife of one year. She dies shortly after the birth of their daughter Miranda from a staph infection.
Maude and Bert
Landlords to Felix, they rent the small cabin to him for 12 years. They disappear as soon as his production of The Tempest is finished and he leaves the cabin behind.
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