On Feb. 26-28 at 8 p.m. and March 1 at 2 p.m. Seton Hall University will perform the renowned Shakespeare play, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” directed by Professor Dan Yates.
The theater department puts on a Shakespeare production every year and sometimes the Theater Council, the student run organization, does as well, resulting in two Shakespeare productions.
Ben Yates, a junior theater major, plays Valentine, one of the “gentleman” of Verona.
“(Shakespeare comedies) are the most fun shows I’ve done while I’ve been here, and have taught me all of what I know about Shakespeare and the important aspects of acting,” he added, “In the past we have done two of his plays in one year, one was a main stage production, and the other a student directed production.”
Although the time of Shakespeare may seem distant to modern day college students, the play’s themes are timeless and are still relevant even in 2015.
“What excites me most about this production is how relatable it is to a college cast and a college audience, and at the same time any audience member,” said Ben Yates. “I have dealt with the relationships that these characters deal with in my own life. And it’s funny to look at it and realize how ridiculous it all is. But that’s what makes it funny and that’s what makes the characters funny, no matter how good or bad they are.”
According to Yates, “The most challenging part of this production has been to not only make the language understandable to myself and the audience, but to make it sound like a conversation I’d be having in the cafeteria with a friend.”
Kyle Micale, a junior secondary education major plays the role of Launce.
“There are many things that make this production different from other productions I have been a part of, but the biggest difference, and definitely the best part, of this production is our director, Professor Dan Yates,” said Micale.
“The most fun aspect of working on this production is definitely the cast,” he added. “It takes a great cast of intelligent, creative, and hilarious actors in order to not only understand Shakespeare, but to also make the words of Shakespeare understandable and enjoyable for a modern audience.”
Professor Yates said that directing a play by Shakespeare on campus has brought her new insights and has been a fulfilling experience.
“The most rewarding part of directing Two Gents is working with the student actors,” said professor Yates. “They have embraced the challenges with great enthusiasm. They bring a fresh perspective to the timeless themes of young love and impetuous desire.”
Rachel O’Connor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.