‘Love’s Labour’s Lost’ a Shakespeare masterpiece

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  • The Montana Shakespeare in the Parks production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” will be presented at Palmer Park in Charlo Saturday, Aug. 25. Pictured during the play Aug. 16 in Plains are, from left, Don Adriano de Armado (played by Jordan Pettis); constable Dull (Emily Wold); Longaville, Lord attending on the King; and Duman, Lord attending the King (Yao Dogbe). (Joe Sova/Lake County Leader)

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  • The Montana Shakespeare in the Parks production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” will be presented at Palmer Park in Charlo Saturday, Aug. 25. Pictured during the play Aug. 16 in Plains are, from left, Don Adriano de Armado (played by Jordan Pettis); constable Dull (Emily Wold); Longaville, Lord attending on the King; and Duman, Lord attending the King (Yao Dogbe). (Joe Sova/Lake County Leader)

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William Shakespeare was certainly the premier storyteller during the Elizabethan era in the late-16th century, and is also perhaps the best playwright of any era.

Shakespeare wrote his comedy titled “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in the mid-1590s, and its said to be a consummately Elizabethan play. The production wowed a crowd of more than 150 folks from Sanders County and beyond the evening of Thursday, Aug. 16 in the comfortable grassy area at the Sanders County Fairgrounds.

Love’s Labour’s Lost was again performed the next evening in Thompson Falls, again in front of a sizeable crowd. The play is directed by Steve Cardamone.

The play is in the spotlight Saturday, Aug. 25 in Charlo, and Shakespeare’s Othello is featured Sunday, Aug. 26 in St. Ignatius. Othello is directed by Kevin Asselin.

Love’s Labour’s Lost and Othello are part of the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks summer tour series. Admission is always free to the public, and donations are accepted.

Asselin said, “It takes a diversity of talent and resources to make each summer’s tour successful.”

GRETCHEN E. MINTON, Ph.D., wrote about the plays in the Shakespeare in the Parks magazine available at each performance. Here is how she describes Love’s Labour’s Lost:

“In it Shakespeare put on a virtuoso performance of language, filling the comedy with every elaborate rhetorical device of the day, from rhymes to puns, from proverbs to Latin tags, from verbose descriptions to witty conjoinders. In order to show this king of linguistic skills, Shakespeare also had to choose characters in whose mouths such words seemed most appropriate.

“At the opening of the play, four young men — the King of Navarre and four friends — isolate themselves and take a vow to study for three years, abjuring society and its distractions (especially women) … When they inevitably do interact with women in the form of a symmetrical group of a Princess and her three friends, the men launch into word-games and write poetry, always attempting to prove their worthiness and superiority….

“Love’s Labour’s Lost is a coming-of-age play, depicting young men who must learn to become less impressed with themselves and more honest about who they are … Paradoxically, Shakespeare has employed the most ornate language to show us the limitations of language.”

EACH CHARACTER in the comedy is impeccably played, and not a spoken line is missed, despite the unique dialect of the Elizabethan era.

Learn more about Love’s Labour’s Lost and Othello by attending a Shakespeare in the Parks performance or go online to www.ShakespearInTheParks.org.

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