Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

New production combines modern sitcom and Shakespeare


Love, lust and friendship are among the themes of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” is a comedy about four friends, the King of Navarre and his followers named Biron, Longaville and Dumain, who make a vow to refrain from dating and only concentrate on studying.

The moment they make that vow, however, they become smitten with four women, the Princess of France and her attendants named Rosaline, Maria and Katherine.

“Once the women come on the scene, it’s all over for the men,” said senior Hayley San Fillippo, who plays Rosaline.

The men attempt to stay true to their vows, but each falls quickly to their womanly charms.


Director Jim Butchart related the play to college-aged students, “It’s about how we can be young and enthusiastic. How many times have our best-laid plans been knocked away by our bodily urges?  It’s about lust and love and [how] these kids mature, to a degree.”

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” is one of Shakespeare’s earlier plays, written around 1594.

Butchart said it isn’t produced as much as other Shakespearean plays because it’s full of wordplay, puns and period-specific language. He had to cut out large portions of the dialogue to make it more digestible to viewers and to emphasize the potential the play has to be a sitcom targeted for high school and college students.

“It plays like a modern sitcom,” Butchart said. “I’m amazed no one has done something like ‘10 Things I Hate About You’ or ‘She’s the Man,’ it’s perfect for that. The King is like the head football player, Biron is the wisecracking class clown and the women are like the head cheerleader and her posse of mean girls.  It has all these elements that I think we will recognize.”

Even though it’s classified as a comedy, the play has a dramatic twist.


“A general comedy is lighthearted; there’s always a happy ending,” senior Stephanie Staszak said. “In this one, it doesn’t have that.  The characters even say this play doesn’t end like [a] typical comedy.”

Staszak plays the Princess of France, the romantic opposite of the King.  The princess serves as the character who attempts to inject some common sense into the men and her attendants.

“The princess likes to have fun, but she tells it as it is a lot,” Staszak said. “People will joke around, and she says ‘yeah, but this is how it’s supposed to be.’ She has explanations for why the characters are [saying what they’re saying].”

Senior Marcus Cunningham plays Armado, a character who provides comedic relief for the audience.

“[His friends] think he’s hilarious,” Cunningham said. “He’s so into himself; he’s so fake.”

Staszak said she wants the audience to come out of the play with a deeper understanding of Shakespeare.

“I want the audience to go come out feeling like they shouldn’t be afraid of Shakespeare, like Shakespeare is a whole different world, because it isn’t,” Staszak said.

“Love’s Labour’s Lost” runs from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 in the Hicklin Studio Theatre.

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Founded 1901
New production combines modern sitcom and Shakespeare