The Two Gentlemen of Verona
July 6-21 of 2018 Rochester, NY
Shakespeare goes Bollywood as WallByrd Theatre Co's teams up with the Rochester Community Players for the 2018 Summer Highland Bowl performance of The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCTION-
It’s La-La-Land meets Prem Ratan Dhan Payo as our two modern gentlemen (and best of friends) travel abroad to explore the world and spark romance. A colorful and chaotic comedy about the pitfalls and excitement of falling in love and finding yourself. Throw in many a grand dance number and WallByrd’s signature musical flair for a cinematic spectacle befitting the Shakespeare at Highland Bowl summer tradition.
Performances start at 8pm, Tuesday through Sunday,
Tickets are free. We recommend bringing a chair or blanket and bug spray. Refreshments are for sale during the show.
This inspired productions is magical, musical, colorful, creative and oh so funny.
There will be an ASL interpreted performance on July 20.
Proteus - Ben Ranalli
Valentine - Jesse Singleton
Julia - Jennie Gilardoni
Silvia - Yashashree Jadhav
Duke - Abhas Kumar, Shiva Ramaswamy
Antonia - Stephanie Bancroft
Thurio - Azmeer Sharipol
Eglamour - Bijal Thakkar
Host - Anil Menon
Speed - Husein Lokhandwala
Launce - Ged Owen
Panthino - Don Sheffrin
Luccetta - Lauren McDonough
Outlaws - Emily Bantrelman, Cassie Buscemi, Jaz Koft
Dance Ensemble - Jaimi Miller, Brook Mordenga, Claire Terilli, Katie Lou Thomas
Direction & Design - Virginia Monte
Production Stage Management - Adam Urbanic
Fight Direction - Alec Barbour
Choreography - Anne Wilcox
Vocal Direction - Megan Dobbertin Barbour
Dramaturgy - Aishwarya Krishnamoorthy
Lighting Design - Todd Kelmar
Prop Design - Nicole LaClair
Sound Design - David Porter
Original Composition - Vincent Salvadge
Sound Engineer - Ken Dauer
Deck Chief - Anne Boatman
Technical Direction - Brian Kenyon
Inside the Production
Shakespeare and bollywood-
by Aishwarya Krishnamoorthy (Dramaturge)
At first blush, Shakespeare and "Bollywood" don't seem like they'd fit in the same universe. Sixteenth-century English theatre and contemporary Indian cinema sound like two entirely different animals to most of us. However, this production of The Two Gentlemen of Verona fuses the look of classic American movies with the often stylized and exaggerated feel of Indian cinema to create a world that draws out - and relies upon - the similarities between these seemingly disparate traditions.
Two Gentlemen can be distilled, in a phrase, to "young people fall in love quickly and behave rashly." Indian cinema, which bloomed five centuries after Shakespeare, often has romantic storylines in the same fashion. It is traditionally a machine for elaborate and outrageous scripts, musical sequences, and intense drama. Growing up, I loved watching the bright outfits, frequent costume (and location) changes, and highly choreographed dances in Bollywood movies. The family dramas and romantic entanglements had me experiencing all sorts of emotions. Like Bollywood heroes, the young people in the play - Valentine, Proteus, Julia, and Silvia - are in a very tumultuous stage of their lives. Their rapid infatuations and declarations of love fit in perfectly with our Bollywood heroes and heroines.
While "Bollywood" is often the term used to refer to Indian film, it's actually a specific reference to the Hindi-language film industry, the heart of which is in Mumbai, India. Different regions of India also have their own, smaller, film industries, which are not to be overlooked. In Two Gentlemen, we focused on the imagery and style of Bollywood, but we make reference to other regional industries. India is a vast nation with countless languages, traditions, and cultures, and any endeavor to represent every aspect of it is doomed from the start. However, we hope this production at least gives you a taste of the rich variety of experiences available in modern India.
Plenty of Hollywood movies, of course, also explore teenagers learning about themselves and how to become independent: Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Grease, and 10 Things I Hate About You (itself an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew) come to mind. Every feeling is intense for a teenager - love, heartbreak, betrayal - and thus provides rich fodder for drama. Bollywood, Hollywood, and Shakespeare all show the natural, universal similarities of teenagers of all cultures, and we build upon those universal truths to create the world you see in this production today.
It has been a rewarding experience to collaborate with the Indian community in Rochester to create this intercultural production. if you are interested in learning more about the Indian theatre community in Rochester, please reach out to the India Community Center.