By Brian L Brink
Photo By Allen Morrill
“’90s music makes everything better,” theatre director, Pete Rydberg said when talking about the music choice for the show that ran from Friday, April 13 to Sunday, April 15.
The show was a musical based off William Shakespeare’s play by the same name. According to Rydberg, Shakespeare would’ve loved this version of his work because of because he was such a thief. Rydberg explained that historically Shakespeare stole much of his ideas but, this play is one of his true original works. Therefore, Rydberg said that Shakespeare would’ve loved seeing that idea get twisted into something new.
This wasn’t originally going to be the show that would run this semester. Rydberg said that he wanted to do “Bridges of Madison County” because of how big and dramatic it is. However, he said that it wouldn’t have worked as well with the students.
Rydberg wanted to do a big ensemble cast, that would bring new people into the theatre, and Love’s Labour’s Lost gave him that opportunity. He said this was the biggest cast he had ever had in this theatre.
“Musicals are complicated creatures,” Rydberg said when describing the process of getting the show onto the stage.
Although the music is front and center, he said, the Shakespearean language is still present throughout the entire show. He constantly needed to remind his cast that they have lived with it for ten weeks, but the audience would be hearing it for the first time. He said that without active meaning to the language, it would just become “word soup.”
This musical, Rydberg said, was easier because it was set in the 1990s which can be understood better. He also said that because of the time-period it was set in the princess was able to be empowered much more than in the original. The women went for being female objects only there to drive the men’s story forward in Shakespeare’s original work, to becoming heroines in their own right, he said.
The biggest challenge Rydberg’s cast faced was having to act through that song which, according to Rydberg, caused the choreography to feel more like stage combat. The best way to deal with this, he said, was to go over the top with the acting and just make it fun.
“Captain Kirk on steroids,” Rydberg said when describing the acting.
The next play to be put on by Rydberg and the Thiel Players will be “The Christians” in during the fall semester.