A life of scholarship is in store for Navarre, where the King and his courtiers have made an oath renouncing worldly pleasures and commanding all the townsfolk of Navarre to do the same. But when the Princess of France and her ladies arrive on a diplomatic visit, the King and his friends find the enticements of summer love more powerful than they had imagined.
A spoof of those who try to shun love and life, Love’s Labor’s Lost is full of witty wordplay, hilarious mishaps, and riotous comedy. The Dell is the perfect setting for this sweet coming-of-age story, with its host of delightful characters and sparkling depiction of young love.
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“Our court shall be a little Academe”
The King of Navare and his courtiers Berowne, Dumaine, and Longaville have made an oath to live a life of study for three years. To do so, they’ll put aside all wordly pleasures, including any thoughts of love. The King’s edict applies to all of the people of Navarre, and includes a rule that forbids women to come within a mile of the court. Berowne expresses his skepticism about such a plan, but his loyalty to the King prevails and he signs his name to the vow.
“A letter from the magnificent Armado”
Meanwhile, Don Adriano de Armado, a loquacious scholar from Spain, reports that Costard, a local youth, has been talking in the park with Jaquenetta, a country girl, in clear defiance of the King's new rules. The King and his courtiers reprimand Costard and put him into Armado’s custody.
Later, Armado confesses to his pageboy Moth, that he, not Costard, is actually in love with Jaquenetta. Against his better judgment— and the King’s edict—he writes her a love sonnet and demands that Costard deliver it to her.
The people of Navarre adjust to a life of study, some more easily than others. The self-satisfied scholar Holofernes and the --pious pastor Sir Nathaniel, in particular, embrace the opportunity to live a scholarly life—and to enlighten the other townspeople with their learning, whether they like it or not.
“Fair princess, welcome to the Court of Navarre”
The Princess of France and her enchanting ladies arrive on a diplomatic mission regarding a dispute over the region of Aquitaine. Because of the edict the women are forced to camp a mile away; but upon meeting the ladies, the King and his courtiers find their dedication to the scholars’ life on shaky ground.
Each man confesses his ardor to the audience, and writes his own love letter to the lady of his affection…but as love letters begin to travel around Navarre, the King, Berowne, Dumaine, Longaville, and even Armado are revealed to have broken their vows.
“Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?”
The men decide to overthrow their oaths and woo the ladies of France. First, they disguise themselves as Muscovites to trick the ladies, but the ladies, having word of the prank from their courtier Boyet, pay them back by trading clothes and pretending to be each other. Chaos, confusion, and hilarity ensue, until the eight lovers’ true identities are revealed.
“The words of Mercury are harsh after the songs of Apollo. You that way: we this way.”
The townspeople join together to present a play for the nobility and everyone enjoys the entertainment. But shocking news calls the ladies back to France, leaving the future uncertain.
(Director) (Director): S&Co Director: The Clean House (reading), Fall Festival of Shakespeare 2008-2013, Bankside Preludes, Assistant for Tina Packer for All’s Well that Ends Well and Julius Caesar. S&Co Actor: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, The Venetian Twins, Shakespeare & the Language that Shaped a World, The Winter’s Tale, more(Director) (Director): S&Co Director: The Clean House (reading), Fall Festival of Shakespeare 2008-2013, Bankside Preludes, Assistant for Tina Packer for All’s Well that Ends Well and Julius Caesar. S&Co Actor: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, The Venetian Twins, Shakespeare & the Language that Shaped a World, The Winter’s Tale, The Learned Ladies, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses. WAM Theatre: Artistic Associate (2012-2014), The Last Wife director, Blue Stockings (reading) director, Fresh Takes inaugural series curator and producer. Other Directing: Southwest Shakespeare (Photograph 51), Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Memorial), The Theatre at Woodshill (As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing), Boston University School of Theatre (The Cherry Orchard, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls). Assistant Directing: Asolo Rep, Bedlam NYC, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Boston Center for American Performance. 2017-18 Directing Fellow, Asolo Repertory Theatre. Artistic Development & Directing Internship, Arena Stage. Directing Observership, Huntington Theatre Company. Training: MFA, Boston University. BA, Wellesley College. Online: kellydirecting.com
Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.