Charleston Stage Company opens “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”

Charleston Stage Company will present its first production of the 2009-2010 season when it stages William Shakespeare’s “Two Gentlemen of Verona” on Thursday-Saturday, October 15-17 and 22-24 at 7:30 PM at the WVSU Capitol Center Theatre, 123 Summers Street in Charleston.

K.C. Bragg directs the play. The cast includes: Jeff Bukovinsky, Courtney Fint, Brian Roller, Suzanne Lawrence, Tim Mace, Mandy Petry, Greg Morris, Kate Morris, Joe Wallace, Emily Alice Dunn, Dan Heyman and “Abbie” as Crab the dog.

“The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is a very early Shakespeare comedy believed to have been written around 1591. The theme of the play contains many elements such as the conflicts between courtly love and close friendship, the folly of being transformed by love and the bitter consequences of infidelity. Friendship is the order of the day as Valentine leaves Verona to broaden his horizons at the court in Milan, but his best friend Proteus stays behind for love of Julia. Proteus’ father, wanting what is best for him, sends him to Milan as well. Meanwhile, Valentine has fallen head over heels for the beautiful Silvia, the powerful Duke of Milan’s daughter, and plans to elope with her to prevent her marriage to the foolish Thurio. Proteus meets Silvia, disavows his love for Julia, and treacherously plots to have Silvia for his own. What follows are the usual outcomes of betrayed friendship and love: Valentine becomes the king of a group of outlaws, Julia disguises herself as a male page only to discover Proteus’ betrayal, and the antics of the servants Lance and Speed along with Crab the dog get bigger and bigger.

This modern production of the play is set in the 1980’s using musical iconography in the costumes, some set pieces resemble a Rubik’s Cube and a musical score inspired by the pop scene of that time. Some of the musical inspirations include Prince, Michael Jackson, Flock of Seagulls, Duran Duran and The Police. The influences that reflect the punk, pop, new wave scene of the 1980’s interpret the meaning of the play in a way the audience will be able to relate to.

For reservations and information, call 766-5721 or 343-5272 or log onto www.charlestonstagecompany.com.