This week, W.L. Seaton Secondary students, under the direction of UBC Vancouver student teacher Susanna Lonsdale, present Such Is My Love, a collection of some of the most well-known of Shakespeare’s love scenes.
“From romantic love, to jealous, vengeful love, Shakespeare painted his plays with every shade of the colour of love, and we’ve drawn from all of them”, said Lonsdale, who graduated from Seaton in 1998 and has returned to complete a three-month practicum in the drama program where she got her start.
The two-day production draws scenes from many of Shakespeare’s masterpieces: Othello, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Tempest, and, of course, given the theme of love, Romeo and Juliet.
Audiences will witness Othello kill his wife in a jealous rage; Benedick’s friends lay a “love trap” for him, tricking him into thinking Beatrice is in love with him when she is not; they will see couples in Midsummer Night’s Dream fooled by Puck into falling in and out of love with each other’s lovers; and Rosalind test the love of a suitor by dressing as a man, said Lonsdale.
“From humour, to stage-fighting, to romance, this production is sure to engage all audience members,” she said. “The beautiful set, built by Seaton drama teacher Lana O’Brien and the school’s production and stagecraft classes, transforms the school theatre into a garden paradise, bursting with spring colour and energy, complete with blossoming cherry trees, a large weeping willow, and fresh foliage.”
Such Is My Love was originally conceived to be performed as W. L. Seaton’s contribution at the annual Shakespeare Festival in Summerland. However, due to the teachers’ halt on extra curricular activities in reaction to Bill 22 in their current dispute with the B.C. government, the three-day festival in Summerland was cancelled.
With the support of the school’s administration, Vernon drama teachers have organized a day-long Shakespeare festival for all five schools in the district.
World-class workshops will be offered by Holly Adams of New York, Sand Northup of Vancouver, and drummer extraordinaire Bobby Bovenzi.
In addition, two performances will be given, Seaton’s Such is My Love as well as Kalamalka Secondary’s Shakespeare Sketch Comedy.
The public can catch Such is My Love Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11 in Seaton’s 27th Street Theatre at 7:30 p.m. All tickets are $6 and can be reserved by calling 250-542-3361 ext. 2227, or by visiting facebook.com/27thStreetTheatre.