The Blair Academy Players’ final production of The Year of the Bard ends with Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in the Robert J. Evans Open Air Theatre on May 18, 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. Having performed Shakespeare in Love (High School Edition) and Something Rotten!, the players will finish off their season with a production penned by the famed dramatist himself. In this year celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio, it is all the more appropriate that the season focused on the greatest playwright in history.
Love’s Labour’s Lost is a comedy in which the King of Navarre (played by Marc Lui ’23) enlists three friends (played by Grant Breckenridge ’24, Matt Falsetti ’25 and Amogh Katare ’24) to devote themselves to a scholarly retreat void of distractions, including women. Their plans go awry when the French Princess (played by Ari Albino ’23) and her three ladies-in-waiting (played by Hanna Wilke ’23, Ev Rutt ’26 and Cathleen Zhang ’26), attended by elderly Lord Boyet (played by Stella Baceda ’25), arrive to settle a dispute, among other activities, including hunting lessons from a forester (played by Topher Antonelli ’24) for their amusement.
“I am looking forward to closing my time at Blair with a successful production that is amusing and captivating for the audience,” Ari said. “My favorite part has been watching the scenes slowly come together. It’s a really fun process that takes time but is well worth it in the end.”
As the play progresses, each man falls in love with one of the ladies. Furthering the rocky course of true love is Spaniard Don Adriano de Armado (played by Anton Arriola ’23) falling in love with the serving girl, Jaquenetta (played by Leilah Elkholy ’25), who has also been spending time in the garden with the court jester, Costard (played by Tony Zhang ’24). Served by page Moth (played by Eli Maloney ’25), Don Armado enlists a local curate (played by Julian Perello ’24), and a schoolmaster (played by Richard Gimbel ’24), to perform a play for the enjoyment of the royals. During the play, news comes from Marcade (played by Luisa Scripsick ’26), sending the proceedings in a surprising direction. The play is student directed by Julian Perello.
“The production is full of clever word play, switches in direction, and love’s labour’s lost,” said English teacher and theatre director Craig Evans.
The Open Air Theatre is the perfect whimsical, lakefront setting for a comedy that the British Evening Standard reviewed as full of “ripe laughter at the expense of youthful passion and its boastfulness.” The spring play is general admission with no reservations necessary, but in case of inclement weather, the play will move into the Wean Studio Theatre in the Armstrong-Hipkins Center for the Arts. Reservations will be taken in the event of moving indoors, so please email Craig Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org with how many tickets are needed on what nights. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.