Two Gentlemen of Verona to Premiere at Belhaven University

Two Gentlemen of Verona, poster October 18, 2021 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven's Theatre Department will presentWilliam Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona, November 11-13, 18-20. This special outdoor performance is free, and no reservations are required. This play is one of Shakespeare's earliest comedies that centers around friendships, romance, outlaws, and a farting dog. Its major themes remind us that forgiveness is redemptive.

"This play, like all of Shakespeare's plays, would have been performed outdoors during the Renaissance,” said Chair and Professor of Belhaven's Theatre Department Dr. Elissa Sartwell. “We're excited to present this play outdoors, with Belhaven's fountain as a beautiful backdrop. Staging the production outdoors will allow our actors to perform without masks, something that is essential when playing Shakespeare. The language requires actors to have full freedom of movement in their mouth, jaw, and articulators. Actors in a Shakespeare play are athletes of a sort. They must have tremendous endurance, breath support, and physical dexterity. Not to mention the stage combat!"

Taking place in the Commons between Preston Hall and Fitzhugh Hall, participants are encouraged to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs.

Show times include:
Thursday, November 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 13 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Friday, November 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 20 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Sartwell observed, "Sometimes people assume they won't understand a Shakespeare play, perhaps because they had a bad experience reading one of his plays in high school. But Shakespeare didn't write his plays to be read -- he wrote them to be performed! And it is amazing how the performance itself brings life and meaning into the words being spoken. I think you'll be surprised by how well you'll be able to follow what is happening."