CofC Theatre to Stage Classic Comedy of Love and Betrayal
CofC Stages at the College of Charleston’s Department of Theatre and Dance presents the comedic treasure “Two Gentlemen of Verona” by William Shakespeare. Best friends Valentine and Proteus embark on different paths in life only to run into each other again when they both fall in love in Milan. In an investigation of friendship, love, faithfulness, and fickleness, Shakespeare’s play takes us on a journey across Northern Italy, asking us, with wit, humor, and poignancy, to question the forces that bind us together and tear us apart.
Director Michael Smallwood, adds “’Two Gentlemen of Verona,’ perhaps Shakespeare’s first play, is the Rosetta Stone for Shakespeare’s career. So many of his themes, theatrical conventions, plot details, and locations appear in their infancy here before being built upon in later plays. It is very appropriate for our talented students at CofC to explore this play, which isn’t about fairies and great tragic figures, but instead is about youth culture, about falling in love and being problematic, and about how people change for the better and for the worse.”
Considered to be one of Shakespeare’s first plays, “Two Gentlemen of Verona” laid the foundation for Shakespeare’s later themes and motifs of combining comedy and tragedy as a way to explore deeper concepts of human experiences. Estimated to have been written in the early 1590s, the play was printed in Shakespeare’s first published manuscript, containing 36 of his plays but was first performed shortly after it was completed.
The CofC Stages production features students Kit Fischer, Mekhi Gaither, Mia Brady, and Carolina Magee in the principal roles. The student design team includes scenic designer Bristol Barnes, costume designers Brandon Alston and Molly Rumph, lighting designer Sara Whitehead, and sound designer Eli Salas.
Michael Smallwood joined the adjunct faculty at the College of Charleston this semester, teaching playwriting and screenwriting. Smallwood is a professional film and stage actor, an award-winning playwright and filmmaker, and a core ensemble member at PURE Theatre. He directed CofC Stages’ production of “Pipeline” in fall 2021.
DETAILS: Recommended for all ages, performances of “Two Gentlemen of Verona” at the Chapel Theatre (172 Calhoun St.) will run February 22-March 2, with evening performances Feb. 22-25 and Feb. 28-March 2 at 7:30 p.m. and matinee performances on Feb. 25 & 26 at 2:00 p.m. Individual tickets are $20 adults; $15 seniors (60+), military/veteran, and youth under 18; $12 CofC students, faculty, and staff. Info and ticket links are at go.cofc.edu/verona, or contact the George Street Box Office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (843) 953-4726.
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