Stefano: The True Story of Shakespeare's Shipwreck, Wednesday, October 20, 6:30 p.m.
American public media series Hit and Run History presents their adventure-travel documentary on Mayflower pilgrim Stephen Hopkins, Stephano: The True Story of Shakespeare's Shipwreck.
The one-hour film follows the story of the only Mayflower passenger who had been to North American previously. A decade earlier, Hopkins had been aboard a Jamestown-bound ship that wrecked on Bermuda, inspiring Shakespeare's final play, The Tempest.
Shot on location, the intrepid Hit and Run History crew retraces Hopkins' life crisscrossing the Atlantic just as England made its first steps as a colonial power. Hampshire, Bermuda, Jamestown, Plymouth and London, Hopkins' came to know Native Americans in New World and Old. Pocahontas, Squanto and Massasoit – experience that would serve him and the Separatists aboard the Mayflower in establishing their fledgling settlement in New England.
Two-time Emmy-nominated producer and host Andrew Giles Buckley, a Hopkins descendant, grew up hearing stories that New Plymouth's iconoclast tavern keeper may have the model of The Tempest's drunken and mutinous Stephano. In their Gumshoe Historian style, Buckley and crew of Hit and Run History seek out the reality of a man who was everywhere at the founding of America.
The film was first broadcast on Rhode Island PBS in 2020 and has a screenings schedule starting February at the Pilgrim Hall Museum, Cape Cod Museum of Natural History, Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, and currently a dozen other locations in Massachusetts. Following the broadcast in New England, it will be available to run on other public media stations across the country.
The screening of the film will feature an introduction by producer Andrew Buckley, followed by a question and answer session. This program is free and open to the public.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Franklin Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency.