Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Merry Note

The Flatwater Youth version of Love’s Labor’s Lost, presented in conjunction with Flatwater’s mainstage production, features a talented ensemble of actors who build wonderfully on their past shared experience with Shakespeare.

In the play, the King of Navarre (Paden Alexander) and his friends Berowne and Longaville (Jackson Fisher and Jay Colwell) swear an oath that they will devote themselves to study and turn away from life’s other pleasures. Their resolve soon fades when the Princess of France (Petrea Whittier, seen above) arrives on a diplomatic embassy in the company of two ladies-in-waiting (Ellie Tassler and Shelby Krause).

Love also asserts its power on the grandiloquent soldier Armado (Emma Gruhl) and the dairymaid Jaquenetta (Noemi Berkowitz), along with schoolmistress Judith (Shauna Krause) and minister Nathaniel (Rishi Ragsdale) – all observed by the sly swain Costard (Reed Baillie).

As one student actor observed in rehearsal, "there are too many letters" in the play: misdirected love notes both complicate matters and help make all things clear. The cast also includes Sadie Fisher, Emily Kollars, and Katie Tassler.

Flatwater Youth Director Tom Crew and Assistant Director Julie Kinkennon (who plays Katharine in the mainstage show) guide the students. The script, adapted by Education Director Stephen Buhler, keeps Shakespeare’s language but balances the number of male and female roles. The production also offers some very Shakespearean cross-gender casting.

Flatwater is committed to helping Lincoln student actors come to a fuller understanding of Shakespeare’s works by performing them on stage. Love’s Labor’s Lost, Flatwater Youth’s fourth production at the Swan, is supported by a grant from the Lincoln Arts Council. For more information about Flatwater and about reservations, go to http://www.flatwatershakespeare.org/.

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