When the curtain goes up on Shakespeare's Globe company's performance of Love's Labour's Lost on December 8 at Pace University, it will mark the company's first New York appearance since the sold-out tour of Merry Wives of Windsor in 2005. Now directed by Dominic Dromgoole, who succeeded Mark Rylance in 2003 as Artistic Director, Love's Labour's Lost will be completing a two-month national tour with performances through Monday evening, December 21. Opening Night is Thursday, December 10th at 8pm. Both the 2005 and 2009 tours were produced by John Luckacovic and Eleanor Oldham of 2Luck Concepts
In Love's Labour's Lost self-denial is in fashion at the court of Navarre where the young King and three of his noblemen solemnly forswear the company of women in favor of serious study. But the lovely, sharp-tongued Princess of France and her all-too-lovely entourage soon arrive with other ideas and it isn't long before young love, with its flirtations, hesitations and embarrassments, has broken every self-imposed rule set by the young men.
Written shortly after he completed the sonnets, Shakespeare's boisterous send-up of all those who try to turn their back on life, is a festive parade of every weapon in the youthful playwright's comic arsenal: from excruciating cross-purposes and impersonations, to drunkenness, fist-fights and pratfalls. Even more, it is a joyful banquet of language, full of puns, rhymes, bizarre syntax, grotesque coinages and parodies, which the company made their own through a unique rehearsal process for performances at Shakespeare's Globe in 2007, and a revival last summer. And appropriately enough, it is a play that Queen Elizabeth the first commanded for her own holiday festivities nearly 400 years ago.
Contuning in their leading-roles in the touringproduction are Michelle Terry as The Princess of France and Trystan Gravelle as Berowne, along with Seroca Davis, Christopher Godwin, William Mannering, Rhiannon Oliver and Andrew Vincent. Joining them in the Globe company are Jade Anouka, Phil Cumbus, Jack Farthing, Patrick Godfrey, Fergal McElherron, Thomasin Rand, Paul Ready, Siân Robins-Grace and Tom Stuart.
The production has designs by Jonathan Fensom and music by Claire van Kampen. "Love's Labour's Lost" will employ Renaissance staging, costume and music, as well as a seating arrangement and staging designed to involve the audience as nearly as possible in the physical immediacy of seeing a play at The Globe, with actors moving beyond the stage, and the theatre bathed in "daylight" at all times.
Dominic Dromgoole is the Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe. His previous work at the Globe includes King Lear, Love's Labour's Lost, Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra. This season he is also directing Romeo and Juliet and A New World: A Life of Thomas Paine by Trevor Griffiths. He was Artistic Director of the Oxford Stage Company (1999-2005) and the Bush Theatre (1990-1996), and Director of New Plays for the Peter Hall Company (1996/7). He has also directed at the Tricycle Theatre, in the West End, and in America and Romania. Dominic has written two books, The Full Room (2001) and Will & Me (2006).
Jonathan Fensom most recently worked at Stratford Shakespeare Festival as the designer of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Jonathan was nominated for a Tony Award for his set design for Journey's End in 2007 and was associate designer on Disney's The Lion King, which premièred at the New Amsterdam Theatre on Broadway and has subsequently opened worldwide. He has designed more than 50 productions worldwide, from Shakespeare to ballet to modern classics. Other recent productions include King Lear and Love's Labour's Lost at Shakespeare's Globe; Swan Lake for San Francisco Ballet; The Faith Healer, Journey's End, The American Plan and Pygmalion in New York; Rain Man, Some Girls, Twelfth Night and Crown Matrimonial in the West End; The Homecoming and Big White Fog at The Almeida Theatre; Happy Now?, The Mentalists and Burn/Citizenship/Chatroom at the National Theatre; Talking to Terrorists and The Sugar Syndrome at The Royal Court Theatre; and National Anthems at the Old Vic.
Claire van Kampen trained at the Royal College of music, specialising in the performance of contemporary music, and studying composition with Dr. Ruth Gipps. In 1986 she joined the RSC and the Royal National Theatre, becoming the first female musical director with both companies. Her international career as composer, performer, writer and broadcaster has produced scores for many theatre productions, television and film. In 1990 she co-founded the theatre company Phoebus Cart with Mark Rylance. Their production of Shakespeare's The Tempest was performed in the foundations of the Globe in 1991. As Director of theatre Music during its founding ten years, Claire was involved in creating the music for over 30 Globe productions between 1997 and 2006. Recent Globe productions include: Love's Labour's Lost (2007), King Lear (2008) and Helen (2009). Awards include; the Vero Nihil Verius Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Arts by Concordia University (Oregon, USA), and the 2007 Sam Wanamaker Award (with Mark Rylance and Jenny Tiramani for their ‘Original Practices' productions at the Globe.) Recent work includes: Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (Hampstead Theatre); Bash (West End); Boeing-Boeing (West End and Broadway, NY); I Am Shakespeare (Chichester Festival Theatre); Peer Gynt (Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis); Romeo and Juliet (Middle Temple Hall festival). Film: Nocturne (Ind.2009). As a writer, Claire is creating a new play about the castrato Farinelli, and also writing both book and music for Grand Central, a musical to be produced in New York.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre was founded by the late and pioneering American actor/director Sam Wanamaker, who persevered for nearly 30 years to rebuild a replica of the Globe near its original site in London. Since the Globe's reopening by Her Majesty the Queen in 1997, the theatre has fulfilled its vision of recreating for audiences the infectious energy and spontaneity of Shakespeare plays as they were originally presented in an urban amphitheater.
Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, located in New Amsterdam's original theatre district near City Hall in lower Manhattan, has presented a wide range of cultural programs and public events for the campus and surrounding community since 1969. In addition to student productions and special events, the Michael Schimmel Center was the home of Tony Randall's National Actors Theatre, a founding venue of the Tribeca Film Festival and Tribeca Theater Festival, and a presenting partner of the River-to-River Festival. The Center also hosts international companies such as the Beijing People's Art Theatre. When not in use for performances, the theatre is home to the award-winning television program Inside The Actors Studio.