Those trying to complete the cycle of Shakespeare's plays will get a chance to see a rarely performed early comedy from the great English master of theater this summer. The Classical Actors' Ensemble presents Love's Labor's Lost over the next several weekends at various parks around the Twin Cities. "On the simplest level, Love's Labor's Lost is perfect to produce outdoors, because the story takes place in a park. In addition to this convenience, as a light comedy of manners its tone is well suited for a sunny, verdant setting," says director Joseph Papke. The company is coming off a successful spring rep run of A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and Romeo and Juliet, and hopes to continue building on that success with this production, which is their first foray outdoors. "As an early play of Shakespeare's, it has a wonderful amalgamation of excellent comedic threads that go on to appear in his later plays," Papke says. "Audiences will get a light-hearted entertainment of physical comedy, and exquisite language deftly delivered by trained actors committed to making this material clear and accessible to everyone." Of course, playing outdoors provides unusual challenges, from dealing with the weather to the general theater of life you find in any Twin Cities park. "During one rehearsal, a guy caught a massive carp with his bare hands in the flooded grass right next to us. His boisterous one-man celebration parade was distracting, but I'm very confident in our actors' abilities to work with any situation a park presents to us," Papke says. For more info, call 651-321-4024 or visit www.classicalactorsensemble.org.
Fri., July 4, 7 p.m., 2014