This month, the Blue Mountain Community College Theatre Department and the Elgin Opera House present “Two Gentlemen of Verona” at the Bob Clapp Theatre on the Pendleton campus of Blue Mountain Community College.
One of William Shakespeare’s earliest plays, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” is a comedy about love, friendship and the foolishness of people in love. The action focuses on two young men, Proteus and Valentine. Valentine travels from Verona to Milan while his close friend, Proteus, remains in Verona to pursue the woman he is in love with, Julia. In Milan, Valentine falls in love with the duke’s daughter, Sylvia; however, after arriving in Milan, Proteus also falls in love with Sylvia. Add in two comical servants, a group of bandits and the forgotten Julia, who travels to Milan in disguise, and you have “Two Gentlemen of Verona.”
Grant Turner directs a cast that includes: Abby Hale as Valentine, Carly Elder as Proteus, Madeline Breiling as Silvia; Ellen Paulson as Julia, Christian Quinlin as Speed, Chris Dennett as Launce, Dutch Meerdink as the Duke of Milan, Ian Califf as Thurio, Mischief Zurbrick as Lucetta, Weston Simonton as Eglamour, Connor Califf as the Host, and “Duke” as Crab the dog.
“A lot of times Shakespeare intimidates people. Because it’s an early play, it’s actually a lot more accessible than you think,” Turner said. “These characters are easily identifiable, their behavior is understandable, the language is not too tricky to decipher, and it’s just flat out funny.”
“Two Gentlemen of Verona” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14. Tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for students; there is a $2 service charge when ordering online. Tickets may be purchased at ElginOperaHouse.com or by calling 541-663-6324.
“If you like dogs, you’ll like this play. If you like kids, you’ll like this play. If you like energetic, enthusiastic, fun/funny performers, you should watch this play. And if you just want to have a good time in the theater – and isn’t that what we all want in this day and age – you should see this play,” Turner said.
As a BMCC production, the play includes BMCC students and faculty on stage. From the Opera House, Turner is the artistic director of the Opera House Shakespeare Company and the organizer of the inaugural Opera House Shakespeare Festival, June 17-26 in Elgin.
In addition to the Pendleton performances, “Two Gentlemen of Verona” will be performed June 22 and June 23 at the Elgin Opera House as part of the Shakespeare Festival.