"Now my charms are all o'erthrown, and what strength I have's mine own. Pray, release me from my bands, with the help of your good hands." — Rachel as Prospera in "Brave New World"
A stage play of The Tempest is performed at Blackwell Academy during the events of the game. There are several posters for the play around the campus and a huge stage is set up in front of the entrance on the main campus. The play is performed on Saturday, May 8th, 2010 and is shown in Episode 2: Brave New World.
If Rachel was removed from the play (determinant), she will be wearing only a t-shirt and jeans instead of the Prospera costume. After spying on Victoria dosing Rachel's tea, and searching her bag, Chloe has several options. If Chloe is kind to Victoria, Rachel will drug Victoria's tea while she is distracted, and after Victoria passes out, Rachel reclaims her part in the play. If Chloe succeeds in the backtalk challenge, Victoria will drop out of the play and Rachel will play Prospera. If Rachel was not removed from the play, Victoria will try to drug Rachel's tea, but Chloe can either warn or distract her to speak to Rachel about it. If Chloe calls Victoria out, Rachel will pretend to believe Victoria until Chloe manages to get Victoria to drink the tea. If Chloe distracts Victoria, she will tell Rachel privately about Victoria's plan. Rachel isn't shocked, saying that it is "the least surprising thing ever". Rachel and Chloe then hatch the plan to switch the cups.
The play is partly improvised depending on Chloe's dialogue choices. Nathan's performance also varies depending on Chloe's prior actions.
- Rachel Amber (Prospera)
- "A newcomer to Blackwell Academy, Rachel Amber blew the doors off her audition a heartbreaking reading of Blanche from Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire. Other interest include athletics, debate team. boosters fundraising, local history, and nature. Rachel hopes to one day grace the stages of Broadway and the silver screen of Hollywood."
- Nathan Prescott (Caliban)
- "A favorite son of the oldest and most influential family in Arcadia Bay, Nathan hopes this performance of The Tempest will only further the legacy of the Prescott name at Blackwell Academy. Playing Caliban has been a challenge for the sophomore, who enjoys sports, photography, and casual hangouts with his many friends."
- Dana Ward (Miranda)
- "A sophomore, Dana has performed in two other productions at Blackwell Academy since her freshman year. Dana enjoys football (go Bigfoots!), social media, and school dances. She hopes to be a member of the Vortex Club when she's a senior."
- Hayden Jones (Ferdinand)
- "This show marks the introduction of Hayden Jones to Blackwell Academy's Drama Club. He auditioned on a dare, and as it turns out, actually really digs acting. A sophomore, his other interests include playing sports, "herbals", and taking long walks in the woods."
- Juliet Watson (Ariel)
- "Juliet's primary interests include journalism and social activism, but she is very excited to be debuting this spring in the role of Ariel, the capricious and powerful spirit Prospera has enchanted and bound to do her magical bidding."
- Travis Keaton - director
- "A veteran of Broadway, Travis Wilbury Keaton serves the prestigious Blackwell Academy as a teacher of the dramatic arts, mentor, and friend. He hopes this humble reinterpretation of Shakespeare's masterpiece can inspire the next generation of the country's leaders to strive for greatness, and never to forget his motto: ars gratia artis."
- Steph Gingrich - stage manager
- Adam Glenn - tech crew
- Gina Yao - tech crew
- Stella Hill - tech crew
- Jason Redford - tech crew
- Brooke Scott - sound designer
- Evan Harris - program cover/poster designer
While the title of the play is a reference to the opening events of the original Life is Strange as a tempest is another word for a storm, the symbolism goes further. In The Tempest, one of the main characters, Miranda, falls in love with Ferdinand. However, Prospero forbids them from seeing each other. This was, in secret to strengthen their love. This could be a parallel with the story of Chloe and Rachel in that the further they are pushed away from each other by society, the closer they seem to become.
In The Tempest, the protagonist Prospero (changed to Prospera in the Blackwell production) has many magical powers, including the ability to control the wind and weather. The play begins with a storm, whipped up by Prospera with her magical staff and the assistance of her "tricky" spirit servant, Ariel (played by Chloe in the Blackwell production). Mr. Keaton's, "It's magical," underscores the allusion, and heightens the suggestion that Rachel's conjuring of the wind to intensify the fire at the Overlook is a manifestation of her "powers." This could also indicate that Rachel could indeed be the storm that appears in Life is Strange.
Co-Game Director Chris Floyd said in an interview: "When I think of the The Tempest [sic] scene on the stage, which ties together a lot of our more ambitious ideas and writing, to not only have this Shakespeare scene take place in our game--without alienating people--and to even write our own Shakespearean dialog in this improvised section, the costumes, and so many other things. I think of it as one of the highlights for the series."
- Hayden's performance in Episode 1 is a part of Act 3, Scene 2, Page 2-3.
- Dana's part "My affections are then most humble. I have no ambition to see a goodlier man." is part of Act 1, Scene 2, Page 23.
- The script during the play scene follows on and off from Act I, Scene 2, Page 9-14.
All episode titles of Before the Storm are references to Shakespeare's The Tempest.
- Episode 1's title "Awake" derives from Prospero’s speech to Miranda in The Tempest’s Act I, Scene 2, Page 14: "Awake, dear heart, awake! Thou hast slept well. Awake!"
- Episode 2's title "Brave New World" derives from Miranda’s speech in The Tempest, Act V, Scene 1, Page 9: "O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't!" (5.1.215-218)
- Episode 3's title "Hell Is Empty" derives from Ariel’s speech in The Tempest, Act I, Scene 2: “Hell is empty and all the devils are here.”
- The achievement "Awake, Dear Heart" which the player receives for finishing Episode 1, is a reference to the same part of The Tempest the title for Episode 1 derives from.
- The achievement "O, Wonder!", which the player receives for finishing Episode 2, is a reference to the same part of Miranda's speech in The Tempest the title for Episode 2 derives from.
- The achievement "All the Devils are Here", which the player received for finishing Episode 3, is a reference to the same part of The Tempest the title for Episode 3 derives from.
- One of the achievements the player can collect in Episode 1 is called "Dramatis Personae" which is a reference to classical drama. The term, deriving from Latin, describes the (main) characters in a dramatic work written in a list, usually featured at the beginning of the dramatic work's text.
- In the 2010 film adaptation of The Tempest, filmmaker Julie Taymor casts Helen Mirren as a female "Prospera". Ariel was played by the (male) British actor Ben Wishaw.
- The choice of "The Tempest" by the developers, for the play portrayed by Blackwell students in Before the Storm, it's no accident; from the themes of the play itself, ranging from magic, to betrayal, to revenge, to family and forgiveness, to the fact that Rachel is bound to play "Prospera", a female version of the main character of the play, who is a sorcerer that amongst other powers, has the ability to summon the storm at the start of the play. The play itself serves to mirror themes present in the game while also adding mystery and mystique to the character of Rachel.
- Life Is Strange Dev And Lead Actress Say Why The Series Was An Emotional Journey At Its Conclusion (December 20, 2017)
- Reddit post by /u/PerriX2390
- Sparknotes - The Tempest, Act I, Scene 2
- For more information on "dramatis personae", see here.