BY CAROLINE MCCAUGHEY
Thursday night in the green room of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Anathan Theatre was a hub of excited activity. Actors bustled back and forth, running through their lines, warming up their voices, tuning their guitars and applying makeup to prepare for the second weekend of the University production of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
There was a palpable excitement among the cast members as the theatre filled with audience members. Amid the buzz the cast managed to comment on the process of putting on the production, which closed on Nov. 17 after a successful run of showings. Phillip Buss, a sophomore, called Shakespeare’s play “one of the most successful and amazing plays I’ve ever been in.”
“Not only is it witty, romantic, dramatic and well choreographed, it is freakishly hilarious,” he said. “Everyone involved makes this show so much fun to put on.”
Fellow sophomore Jessica Andrews agreed, saying the show “has been the highlight of my semester – I’m going to miss every single individual involved. Being a part of the drama department is a huge blessing; we work together so closely. There’s no other way to describe it except to say that we are a family.”
Senior Bridget Anderson said, “It’s been such a privilege working with my favorite teacher and my favorite people, cooperating with the greatest playwright of all time. Shakespeare is as rewarding to perform as he is to watch. I think the best word to describe the Love’s Labour’s experience is ‘delightful.'”
A unique aspect of the production that the average audience member may not recognize is its collaborative nature. Many of the actors they see onstage are the same people who designed and painted the floor, constructed the trees on set, designed props, made costumes and worked publicity for the show, as well as acted as musicians during performances.
Though this made for a lot of hard work, the cast agreed that working together on creative projects made the end product of the show even more gratifying. They learned a lot in the process by stretching themselves to do and create things they perhaps had never been called on to do.