Love’s Labour’s Lost was one of William Shakespeare's earliest comedies believed to have been written in the mid-1590s for a performance at the Inns of Court before Queen Elizabeth I. Set in 1960s Georgetown, M&B's production of Love's Labour's Lost in many ways reflects what it means to be a university student: committing oneself to multiple years of intensive study, giving up basic needs and comforts in pursuit of that goal and learning how to avoid folly in favor of earnestness. The King and his companions are taken with grand ideas about their oath to devote themselves to study, even though the purpose of this seems vague and requires them to leave off relationships with anyone outside academia. These promises break down with the arrival and subsequent courtship of the Princess and her companions. The haphazard letter-writing and flirting that follows between the two groups also tells us something about how language is used to communicate as the characters struggle to contain what they feel in an adequate manner. Initially, this is a place to laugh, to point out the shortcomings of these self-important learned students. Underlying the act, however, is a good-faith attempt to communicate something just beyond reach. Love's Labour's Lost balances these outrageous acts of performance and language with an earnestness that leaves us invested in the characters even amid our amusement.
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Paul James
Produced by Briana Sparacino
Stage Managed by Erin Davies
Technical Direction by Thomas Curran
October 27, 2022 - November 5, 2022
Poulton Hall, Stage III and Riggs Library