Arkansas Shakespeare Theater’s 11th season opened on the McAlister Hall Lawn with a viewing of the Shakespearean comedy, “Love’s Labour’s Lost” on June 9.
Directed by Rebekah Scallet, the play is set in King Ferdinand’s Navarre, France. It details the struggle of the King’s four courtiers to choose education over love. When failing to do so, upon meeting the Princess of France and her three noblewomen, the four men set out to win over their love.
According to the Director’s note, Scallet describes “Love’s Labour’s Lost” as “not your typical Shakespearean comedy.” She wrote that it is a “great feast of language” that “contains more rhyming couplets than any of Shakespeare’s other works.”
President Houston Davis introduced AST and its season opener.
“We are so excited about AST,” Davis said. “I’m the 11th president so it is great to be able to kick off the 11th season of AST. I’m very excited about what this troop has in store for us.”
The play on its opening night attracted a crowd and many times throughout prompted laughter from the audience.
“The audience seems to be responding well,” AST’s Executive Director and UCA English professor Mary Ruth Marotte said. “There is a lot of laughter especially with Don Armado [Robert Gerard Anderson]. It seems to be translating well to the audience in terms of the theme.”
The play was chosen among three other plays because it fit the 11th season’s chosen theme “The Power of Persuasion.”
Other plays being performed through June and the beginning of July include “Julius Caesar,” “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Music Man.”
Marotte said the season’s theme was originally based off the decision to perform “Julius Caesar.”
“Rebekah wanted to do ‘Julius Caesar,’ and it was about persuasive rhetoric,” Marotte said. “So, she kind of thought about the role of language and how that was common in all of these plays.”
AST’s next performance will be the premiere of “Music Man” at 7:30 p.m. on June 16 and 2 p.m. on June 17 at the Reynolds Performance Hall. “Love’s Labour’s Lost” will show soon after at 7:30 p.m. on June 17 at the McAlister Hall Lawn.