Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shakespeare on love

By Tamara Letkeman, doug Editor

Love is complicated, right?

Not in Twelfth Night, a Shakespearean romance play and the latest production by the departments of Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology at Douglas College March 11-19. In this play, it's very much love at first sight - a concept that was challenging for the (young) performers to buy into, says Director Thrasso Petras.

“In Shakespeare plays there’s no process to falling in love,” Petras says. “It’s ‘I see, I love.’ Young people today are very much ‘I see, I  think about, I’m not sure, I’ll talk to my friends.’ It’s complicated.”

Petras likens the process of building the believability of love at first sight onstage to preparing for an athletic event.

“You don’t jump the full length of your event on first day.  You do one foot, two feet, then you do the whole thing. In order to  convince an audience that you will love from zero to 60, you have to  rehearse and make it convincing.”

In Twelfth Night, a romantic comedy about requited and  unrequited love, complete with disguises, cross-dressing, nasty plots,  secret marriages and mistaken identities, love takes different  forms, some dark, some crazy, some grotesque.

“It’s a little bit like funhouse mirrors. You turn a corner and you see a different version," Petras says. 

Petras says the production – which is in turn whimsical, cruel, funny and disquieting – will raise questions in audience members about our motivations for love,  the dark side of love and the true nature of love.

“The questions move us forward. If we have all the answers, we’re done.”

Twelfth Night runs March 11-19 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, 4100-700 Royal Ave., New Westminster. Tickets ($8-$15) are available through the Massey Theatre. For more information see Arts Events, call 604 527 5723 or click on the poster.