“But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks. It is the east, and Juliet is the moon.”
So goes the swoon worthy moment from Romeo and Juliet, one of the greatest –– and most tragic –– love stories ever told.
Those who are in love with Shakespeare will be able to relive the complexities, complications, wonderings and wanderings of love in a carefully composed mosaic of the Bard’s most famous love scenes.
Presented by Seacoast Theatre Centre, Love and Dreaming takes the stage at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Saturday, Feb. 19.
The production follows a thread through selections from more than 11 of the Bard’s plays.
It portrays the many stages of love that occur throughout a lifetime, complemented by modern poetry and beautiful a cappella harmonies performed by the cast, said Seacoast’s artistic director Scott Swan, who compiled and directs Love and Dreaming.
“We’re talking about the beauty, excitement, the challenges and wonderment of being in love. The feeling is we’re swirling around the various facets of love,” he said.
“It’s very different when you’re 18 or 19 or 25 and there’s that electricity. Then it modulates and becomes this incredible drum of love that’s been there for a long time. We just hope that when people leave the theatre, they have a greater appreciation for the people they love in their lives.”
Based in West Vancouver, Seacoast last performed in Vernon in 2008 with their highly acclaimed production, Ten Lost Years. The company regularly tours throughout the Lower Mainland and Western Canada.
For Love and Dreaming, Swan brought together a cast of 16, consisting of a core group of 10 mentor actors and six apprentice actors from the company’s studio, a teaching wing that trains actors to become valued professionals and artists in the theatre, film and television industries in Canada and the U.S.
And the apprentices are learning from some of the best.
Some may recognize actress Merrilyn Gann, who played the part of Rose Abbott in the U.S. TV series Everwood.
Besides her extensive television work, she has appeared in numerous American and Canadian films, including 1977’s Why Shoot the Teacher, which also featured Swan.
Well known for his leadership in Canadian theatres and festivals, Swan has worked with Festival Lennoxville in Quebec, Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, The Shaw Festival, the Kay Meek Centre, Vancouver Playhouse, Bard on the Beach and others.
Also appearing in Love and Dreaming is Gann’s sister, Angela Gann, who is also the musical director of the show.
Angela was the star of the 1965 Canadian cult classic, The Sweet Substitute, directed by Larry Kent.
Part of the Performing Arts Centre society’s theatre series, tickets for Love and Dreaming are $30/adult, $27/senior and $25/student at the Ticket Seller box office, 549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca.