Theatre combines stage and film technique for Shakespeare

Despite the setbacks and challenges brought on by the pandemic, the Marshall Theatre department continues to offer new and exciting performances.
The next stage production, which will be offered virtually, is one of Shakespeare’s early pieces, “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
“Love’s Labour’s Lost” is an early Shakespearean comedy that follows four young men — a king and his companions, as they all fall in love against their will.
Jack Cirillo, a professor of the theatre department and the production’s director, said that even though there are numerous interpretations of Shakespeare’s work, this interpretation of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is unique in its own way.
“An old friend of mine from graduate school, Scott Kaiser, is a true scholar of Shakespeare and his works,” Cirillo said. “Over the years, he had developed a number of Shakespeare-related plays and acting texts. This edition of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” was created to be performed for young audiences to get them interested in Shakespeare,” Cirillo said.
Because this version of the play has a reduced runtime, Cirillo felt it was an appropriate production option. It allows students to explore Shakespearean theatre and language while reducing the amount of time students are gathered.
Gage Snodgrass, who plays one of the lead roles, as Ferdinand, King of Navarre, said that being in this production was both a challenging and exciting experience.
“It’s actually my first lead in a show. It was a huge challenge with both Covid going on and having never performed Shakespeare before,” Snodgrass said. “But the support system my cast and crew provide makes it easy and fun to do my job.”
Cirillo said that while they are taking the necessary precautions to finish the production safely, the changes they have been forced to make because of the pandemic haven’t been all bad.
“The streaming of productions not only allows us to share our work with an audience but also introduces film and video work to our students as well,” Cirillo said. “Camera angles, close-ups, fade-aways, all of these concepts are not typically part of theatre education, and it has been an interesting and beneficial sidebar to the Covid adventure.”
Cirillo also said that he understands a lot of people avoid Shakespeare because it is so different from the entertainment we see today; however, by seeing the production, he hopes that people will realize Shakespeare can be both relevant and enjoyable.

Miranda Valles can be contacted at [email protected]