A play based on one of William Shakespeare‘s early comedies, Love’s Labor’s Lost, will be staged at Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C. from April 30 through June 9.
Directed by Vivienne Benesch, the play touches on the subjects of language, sexual attraction, and manners. In this play set in Spain, a young King of Navarre challenges his three compatriots to sign a pact that stipulates renouncing women and love in favor of scholarly pursuits for a period of three years.
“Their pact is immediately jeopardized, however, when the Princess of France and her companions arrive. Will the men stand resolute and keep their monastic vows—or surrender to the charms of the opposite sex? Shakespeare’s delicious comedy is full of lovers and clowns, foolery and the follies of the heart,” says the play brief.
Benesch, who’s making her Folger Theatre debut with this production, said in an interview with D.C. Metro Theater Arts that she had appeared in the play over 20 years ago.
“I played the Princess of France and fell in love with the play then,” said Benesch who was invited by Folger’s Artistic Producer Janet Griffin to direct the play. She immediately agreed.
“I just love the true gymnastics of the language but I am also drawn to the heart of this play and how language is interrogated, exposed, and used for combat – of all sorts,” said Benesch.
The 2017 recipient of the prestigious Zelda Fichandler Award, Benesch also served as Artistic Director of the Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory for 12 seasons, directing more than 15 productions here.
The cast includes Josh Adams, Tonya Beckman, Louis Butelli, Matt Dallal, Zachary Fine, Megan Graves, Eric Hissom, Yesenia Iglesias, Edmund Lewis, Amelia Pedlow, Kelsey Rainwater, Joshua David Robinson (King of Navarre), Susan Rome, Jack Schmitt, and Chani Wereley.
Tracy Christensen has designed costumes for the play. Lighting design is by Colin K. Bills while Lindsay Jones has created the original music and sound design.
You can buy tickets here.