The University of Winnipeg (U of W) Department of Theatre and Film is putting on its first show of this season later this month. Performances of Love’s Labour’s Lost, written by William Shakespeare, will run from Nov. 26 to 29 at 7:30 p.m. and on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Directed by Rodrigo Beilfuss, this show is playing at the Gas Station Arts Centre.
Beilfuss, a U of W theatre alum, is also the artistic director of Shakespeare in the Ruins.
He says Love’s Labour’s Lost “is a great, funny play, and it is essentially Shakespeare’s very first masterpiece.” Love’s Labour’s Lost tells the story of four men who swear to live without women but quickly fall in love when four women arrive.
“It’s not done often, so it’s a rare treat,” Beilfuss says. “The great thing about Shakespeare is that the canvas is really big, and you can throw anything at it.”
Joshua Gehman, a third-year U of W theatre student specializing in stage management and production, is the staging carpenter for Love’s Labour’s Lost.
“In collaboration with Aaron Frost, the head carpenter and stagecraft professor, I manage the construction of the sets for the show, moving those sets to the Gas Station theatre and managing the running scenery during the show,” he says in an email to The Uniter.
When asked about what he likes about the theatre program at the U of W, Gehman says “I get to do what I love.”
“I love everything about production, so getting to be involved in putting on shows,” he says.
Gehman credits the U of W theatre program with giving him a “quite diverse” experience in theatre.
“I have been an actor, props co-ordinator, stage carpenter, electrician, sound operator and backstage hand,” he says. “A large portion of that, I owe to the U of W theatre program, as they have allowed me to do so much of what I love.”
Beilfuss agrees, saying that “it’s a very demanding program.”
“Students come out of it having a sense of what it takes and what kind of level of stamina is required to sustain a life in the theatre,” he says.
In addition to the coursework, students of the program participate in and put on productions such as Love’s Labour’s Lost.
“It’s going to be an amazing show,” Gehman says, adding that the cast and crew have “been working nonstop to make this the best show possible.
“Our fourth-year honours class of actors (is) extremely talented. We have a hardworking production crew and a wonderful playwright: Shakespeare himself!”
Free tickets for Love’s Labour’s Lost are available at uwinnipeg.ca/theatre-film/online-reservations-for-loves-labours-lost.html or by calling 204-786-9152.
Published in Volume 74, Number 11 of The Uniter (November 21, 2019)