UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance will offer a nod to Shakespeare beginning April 26, presenting the famous bard’s classic comedy Love’s Labor’s Lost at the University Theatre on campus, 2420 Nicolet Drive.
Guest directed by Gale Childs Daly, this final mainstage production of the 2012-13 academic year is set in Navarre, where the king and his three lords swear an oath to scholarship, fasting and abstaining completely from the company of women. Meanwhile, the princess of France has arrived to visit the king. Hosting the princess and her entourage in a remote camp, the king soon finds himself love struck. Plots to woo the princess lead to mistaken identities, pranks and broken oaths.
“It does have a wonderful story,” said Childs Daly, returning to UW-Green Bay for her second Shakespeare production. “It’s about love and relationships and what happens between men and women. And there is no real plot or conflict in the play, necessarily, except for the fact that the men have taken a vow to study for three years and to not see women for three years. And as soon as they make the vow, the women appear.”
One of those women, the Princess of France, is played by sophomore student Ashley Wisneski. Audiences will appreciate and be able to relate to the performance, Wisneski said — despite the sometimes-tricky Shakespearean dialogue.
“It’s going to be very understandable, because besides the language, there is a lot of physical comedy,” Wisneski said. “And it’s human nature up there. It’s girls playing hard to get; it’s men trying to woo women in the most ridiculous ways. So you’re going to see a lot of human nature, and that’s something maybe not all audience members might be aware of.”
Childs Daly has taught and directed Shakespeare for 20 years, and said the language can be challenging at first. But once actors tap into what the famous playwright was trying to say, the words become less mysterious, she said.
“I call it being a verse detective,” Childs Daly said. “I lead them through the text and say, what are the clues that Shakespeare’s giving you about your character in this language? And once they’ve unlocked the idea that it’s written in poetry and it’s spoken in poetry — the doors open and off we go.”
Love’s Labor’s Lost is part of the Underground Shakespeare Festival, a collaboration of Shakespearean performances produced in cooperation with Wisconsin Public Radio. This endeavor began in the fall, and includes performances from UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance, St. Norbert College Theatre, UW-Marinette, Evergreen Productions, Door Shakespeare and the UW-Green Bay Weidner Center.
Performances of Love’s Labor’s Lost will take place at 7:30 p.m. April 26 and 27 and May 2, 3 and 4 at University Theatre in Theatre Hall. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for adults; $12 in advance and $15 at the door for children (under 18) and seniors; and $10 for UW-Green Bay students. Order online at www.uwgb.edu/tickets or by calling (920) 465-2400 or (800) 328-tkts.
A video on the UW-Green Bay Theatre and Dance production of Love’s Labor’s Lost is available online at www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo8nK2pjmTs&feature=share&list=UUVEwlQ2av1ZARI7bUBL_73Q.
Cast of Love’s Labor’s Lost: Joe Feltz (Ferdinand); Derek James Knabenbauer (Berowne); Scott Klapperich (Longaville); Randy Tranowski (Dumaine); Andrew Delaurelle (Don Adriano de Armado); Hannah Blecha (Moth); Ashley Wisneski (Princess of France); Cherran Dea Rasmovicz (Rosaline); Abigail Lee (Catherine); Katelyn Kluever (Maria); Cody Von Ruden (Boyet); Tyler Miles (Costard); Natalie Vanden Heuvel (Jaquenetta); Maari Erdman (Sir Nathaniel); Tamar Brooks (Holofernes); Chris Poole (Anthony Dull); Amy Vannieuwenhoven (Marcade/Forester).