Get your bard on: "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" runs April 26 to May 5

Rutgers Theater Company explores themes of love, desire, betrayal and transformation in William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Michael Sexton, Artistic Director of The Shakespeare Society in New York City, directs the production, which runs from Friday, April 26 to Sunday, May 5, 2013, at the Philip J. Levin Theater. The performances originally scheduled for May 7-12 are canceled.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona, one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, tells the story of two friends with differing aspirations. Valentine wants to seek his fortune out in the world, and Proteus wants to stay in Verona and marry the woman he loves. But when Proteus is forced to follow Valentine to Milan, each man finds himself wanting the same woman, turning two gentlemen from best friends to enemies, and turning love from bliss to violence.

“Driven by desire, people change--sometimes beautifully, sometimes not so beautifully,” says Sexton.

Rutgers Theater Company has chosen to embrace an aesthetic style inspired by the 1960s films of Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, who was lauded for his surreal explorations of memory, dreams and fantasy. Sexton says he sees Fellini and Shakespeare as fellow devotees of the magic and dangers of human desire, creating environments of whimsy, darkness and sadness.

 “I want the audience to be entertained, delighted and disturbed,” says Sexton. “I want the play to make them be reminded of their own desires. I want them to question: What is this thing called love?”

Learn more about the 2013 Rutgers Theater Company season.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona runs from Friday, April 26 through Sunday, May 5. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Philip J. Levin Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, and to learn more about the 2012-2013 season at Mason Gross Performing Arts Center and Galleries, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.

Posted: April 2013