love’s labour’s lost

by W. Shakespeare

directed by Brigitte Jaques & Doris Mirescu

Scenery: Alexandre B. Corazzola
Costumes: Renee M. Bell
Lights: David Martin Jacques
Sound & Original Composition: Andrew Nagel
Photos: Mary Whalen

 

Love’s Labour’s Lost is a play based in beauty, both romance, and of language. This production, directed by guest artist Brigitte Jaques, attempted to embrace both facets of beauty, through a stunning setting and costumes, and an intense understanding of the prose/poetry relationship within the text. The story itself is quite simple. The King of Navare and his noblemen have decided to swear off women, and focus on their studies of the classics. However, the women of France pay a visit to the Court of Navare, thus upending any attempt at being chaste. In the end, after much expression of love through beautiful monologues that hop delicately from prose to verse, the women are summoned back to France on hearing of the death of their King. The men are left, with only their memory of the beautiful women, and the hope of their someday return.

The sound design was as simple as the story itself, and in fact became another character. All of the music was performed live by the sound designer on the grand piano that sat center stage. While there were several specified themes composed by the designer, the rest of the show was based in improvisations off the original themes. From haunting melodies to abstract jazz, the piano hinted at music as a vehicle for love, language, humor, and regret.

 

Alexandre Corazzola created a surreal, garden setting highlighted by billowing “trees” of china silk, and a textured, soft floor of funeral grass. Art, philosophy, and music came alive in the garden, as characters interacted with statues, the large painting up center, and the grand piano.

The theme for the Women of France was meant to be light, airy, and dance like, giving them power all while reminding us of their well meaning intentions. To hear a sample of their theme, click the link below.

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During one scene, the men dress up like Muskovites to parade and dance for the women. Shakespeare shows us to what lengths men will go to express their love, and how silly their means can truly be. To hear a sample of the Muskovite Theme, click on the link below.

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In the final scenes of the play, then noblemen express their love to them women of France, all the while knowing the women must return to their country upon hearing of the death of their King. One by one, the men share beautiful verse, while pledging devotion and an honest, forever, and true love. This production included underscore beneath the dialogue, giving a feeling of simple, melancholy, and yet eloquent emotion. The verse culminated in an elegant waltz of beauty and sorrow, that suddenly ended mid chorus as the women pushed away and left the court. For this production, the final “all is still well” scene was removed, leaving the audience in this melancholy world of love and sorrow. The men have pledged their lives to wait for the women of France, but as Berowne says in the final line of this production “That’s too long for a play…”

To hear a sample of the waltz from the end of the production, click the link below.

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