BY CAROLINE MCCAUGHEY
Rehearsals are well underway for Franciscan University of Steubenville’s drama department’s fall 2013 production of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.” Auditions were held in early September and, since then, the cast and crew have been hard at work.
“Everyone’s very friendly, everyone’s really nice,” said Nick Vicinanzo, a freshman drama major participating in the production. “They make rehearsals fun. … Generally it’s a fun, relaxing kind of thing, where you can just hang out and you learn a lot.”
Vicinanzo said he chose to major in drama at Franciscan because he wanted to study theater in a vibrant Catholic environment.
“There aren’t really many colleges that have the same level of Catholicism that offer drama programs,” he said. “That was definitely the biggest thing: drama and Catholicism. Because, you know, they say for the school, ‘academically challenging, passionately Catholic.’ The drama here is very, very excellent – and definitely academically excellent.”
The Anathan Theater production features a cast of 17 Franciscan students, some of whom will perform as singers and musicians during the 30-minute pre-show and intermission. The romantic comedy is directed by Monica Anderson, who holds a doctorate in theater from Bowling Green State University, and is designed by Dale Prey and Jessica Andrews. Music for the production is under the direction of Jessica Wasko.
Jessica Andrews, a sophomore drama major, said that she enjoys working with Anderson because “she really knows how to use her rehearsal time.”
“You never feel rushed, you never feel stupid for asking questions,” Andrews said. “She makes it very enjoyable to come in and you want to work hard for her.”
Lisette Matos, a junior drama major said she had never heard of the play before she was cast.
“I kind of like that there aren’t just two main characters and everyone else is the chorus,” she said. “There are so many different love stories and opportunities for humor among the characters. … (I like) the ensemble aspect of it, that we all get to work so much together.”
Matos said that she enjoys rehearsals because “once you get into the theater and start warming up and start going, you forget everything else.”
G.K. Chesterton said “Love’s Labour’s Lost” is “a study of the spirit and nature of youth.” The Shakespeare play follows a king and three of his lords who have vowed that, for three years, they will devote their lives to fasting and study and will have no contact with women. Their vows are soon challenged when a princess and three of her ladies arrive with business for the king. These young royals are joined by an assortment of servants, clowns and other outrageous characters, all of whom are challenged to discover what is most important in life.
The production runs Friday-Saturday, Nov. 8-9 and 15-16 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.