CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will present one of William Shakespeare's most well-known and well-loved comedies, "Love's Labor's Lost," this August at the Withycombe Hall Theater on campus.
The play will run from Aug. 3-5 and from Aug. 10-12, with curtain time at 7:30 p.m.
The alliterative title reflects the verbal intricacy of this Shakespearean classic. The play includes some of the bard's most intriguing and witty dialog to complement an endearing cast of characters.
In "Love's Labor's Lost," Ferdinand, King of Navarre (portrayed by Nicholas King) joins with his friends and courtiers - Biron (Timm McLagan), Longaville (J.C. Howry) and Dumain (Phillip Meyer) in a pact to spend three years studying, fasting and sleeping little, while avoiding the company of women. They also intend the same goals for other men of the realm, and enact a series of laws accordingly.
For recreation, they look to the conversation of a local fool, Costard (Andrew Beck) and an affected braggart, Don Armado (Erik Hundtoft).
The group's good intentions don't last long, however, as they quickly encounter the Princess of France (Rebecca Keeling) and her entourage of three vivacious young women - Rosaline (Marianne Brown), Maria (Jennifer Backstrand), and Katherine (J.J. Shurtleff) in Navarre on a diplomatic mission. As each of the men and women pair up, they try to hide the fact from their comrades, leading to hilarious consequences.
But, as the title of the play suggests, the poetic efforts and loving feelings of the characters are lost to the exigencies of an increasingly dark and intruding reality.
The OSU production of the play is taking a unique approach in setting and time, with the "overall look and feel for the show being mid-1950s," said director Marion O. Rossi, an OSU faculty member.
"We hope to create a word that is visually exciting and unique and which draws the audience in while honoring as much as possible the wit and wonder of the Bard's text," he said. "Our job is to clarify and enliven William Shakespeare's brilliance and entertaining humor, not to obscure it."
The OSU production includes 18 cast members from the student body and the local communities, plus another half-dozen students working on sets, properties and costumes.
OSU faculty members participating in addition to Rossi are Richard George, set and lighting design; and William Earl, costume design.
Production stage manager is David George.
Tickets are priced at $10 for general admission, $7 for seniors and $6 for students. Tickets may be reserved beginning July 31 by calling OSU's University Theatre box office at 541-737-2784.
For other information on the play, or the University Theatre program, call 541-737-2853. The cast for "Love's Labor's Lost" includes:
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Marion O. Rossi, 541-737-4917