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:

  • BEAVERTON: J.J. Shurtleff, an OSU junior in theater, as Katherine.


  • BEND: Marianne Brown, an OSU junior in theater, as Rosaline.


  • CORVALLIS: Andrew Beck, a sophomore at the University of Oregon, as Costard; John Carone, a community member, as a forester; Emily Chovanec, a senior at Crescent Valley High School, as Moth; Delaney Deaver, an OSU junior in music, as Jaquenetta; Richard George, an OSU faculty member, as stage manager; Chris Hirsh, a senior at Corvallis High School, as Constable Dull; J.C. Howry, an OSU junior in speech communication, as Longaville; Emmet Jones, a community member, as Nathaniel; Rebecca Keeling, an OSU senior in theater, as the Princess of France; Phillip Meyer, a sophomore at the University of Oregon, as Dumain; Timm McLagan, a 1999 OSU graduate, as Biron; Ajai Tripathi, a community member, as Marcade.


  • COTTAGE GROVE: Nicholas King, a 2000 OSU graduate in theater, as Ferdinand.


  • SALEM: Brad Canfield, an OSU sophomore in theater, as Boyet; Erik Hundtoft, an OSU senior in music, as Don Armado.


  • WISCONSIN: BRISTOL: Jennifer Backstrand, an OSU senior in theater, as Maria.


  • WEST VIRGINIA: CHARLESTON: Damian Aryln, as Holofernes.

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Marion O. Rossi, 541-737-4917