“O Heaven, were man but constant, he were perfect.”
― William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona
The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Director’s Cut
Auditions for Summer 2022
directed by Steve Beecroft
All ethnicities encouraged. Some actors will be asked to play more than one role.
Sunday 6 March, 1-4pm, Old Mill Park amphitheatre, Mill Valley
Letter From the Director
Many people have asked me why I want to direct ‘The Two Gentlemen of Verona’. It is, after all, rarely performed. One of the Bard’s earliest plays, it has some limitations in character and plot development and, of course, ‘that script problem’ near the end. But therein lies the challenge.
I happen to believe that this can be a truly excellent show. It has great comedy and some lovely poetry. It foreshadows beautifully many themes, character devices and even phrasing that come in later plays… the woman who dresses as a boy to seek her errant lover, the clown who speaks truth through malapropism, the outlaws in the forest who are transformed by a wandering gentleman who becomes their leader.
In terms of message, the play starts out seeming to propagate the male friendship myth so actively written about by contemporaries Montaigne, Lyly, Spencer and Eylot. But it ends up exploding it. Instead of extolling the superiority of the male character and male friendship, in Two Gents it is the women who are by far the more honorable, constant, thoughtful and deep characters. This is true to my view of Shakespeare as a proto-feminist vastly ahead of his time. (Just look at the strength of the female characters he creates in his plays: Rosalind, Kate, Hermione, Beatrice, Helena, Viola.)
Yes, there are some inconsistencies in the script. But with some judicious cutting and a few minor revisions, plus fleshing out characters and their interrelations beyond what appears on the surface of the page, and with the addition of song, dance and dramatic swordplay, I think this show can knock people off their seats. As most audience members will not have seen the play, we will have more work to do to bring them onside and entrance them with our story. But that, too, is a positive challenge…sometimes the best delights come when one has few expectations.
So come and join the Curtain Theatre as we take a walk on the wild side. It should be fun!!!
There will be some Zoom character sessions in the spring. Full rehearsals start Tuesday 5 July. Rehearsals will run Tuesday through Thursday evenings at Church of Our Saviour in Mill Valley and weekend late mornings into afternoons on the stage in Old Mill Park in Mill Valley. Only cast members required for particular scenes will be called during the week. All will be called for weekend rehearsals.