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Franklin Stage Company Opens Twenty-Sixth Season With Shakespeare Comedy

Written By Editor on 6/8/22 | 6/8/22

Franklin Stage Company, Delaware County’s only admission-free professional theater, will present Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, adapted by New York’s Fiasco Theater, July 1–17 at Chapel Hall, in Franklin, NY.

Fiasco’s adaptation is a 90-minute version of Shakespeare’s classic for 6 actors, with live music. “Our audiences have been asking when we’ll do a Shakespeare play again, and we feel this adaptation is the perfect way to bring the Bard back to FSC’s stages,” said FSC Co-Artistic Director Patricia Buckley. “It’s a beautiful interpretation and the perfect size for our production capabilities.”

Two Gentlemen of Verona is one of Shakespeare’s earliest and least performed comedies. It tells the story of best friends, Valentine and Proteus, who separately leave their home city of Verona to serve the Duke in Milan. In Milan, Valentine falls for the Duke’s daughter Sylvia, while before leaving Verona, Proteus pledges his love to Julia. But once Proteus arrives in Milan, he too falls for Sylvia, setting up a rivalry with his friend. Meanwhile, back in Verona, Julia assumes a male disguise and follows Proteus to Milan.

The play deals with the themes of friendship and infidelity, the conflict between camaraderie and romantic love, and the foolish behavior of people during infatuation. It is also the earliest of Shakespeare’s plays in which a young woman disguises herself as a boy, and the only play of his with a dog as a cast member (played in this version by one of the actors). Directed by Chris O’Connor, the show features Woodrow Proctor who played the title role in FSC’s 2019 production of Billy Bishop Goes to War. Both director and actor are happy to be collaborating again at FSC. “I’m excited to stage Shakespeare’s rich romantic comedy with this incredibly talented cast,” said O’Connor. “This will be a perfect summer treat for the season’s audience!”

FSC will comply with all current CDC and NY State Covid regulations, so show attendees must present an ID and proof of vaccination. Any updates to FSC Covid policy can be found on their website. 

The Franklin Stage Company season runs through August 21 at Chapel Hall, 25 Institute Street in Franklin, NY. Please note all evening shows have a curtain time of 7:30 pm. Two Gentlemen of Verona will also have Saturday matinees at 3:00 pm and Sunday shows at 5:00 pm. General Seating. Admission is free—suggested donation is $25 per person. For more information and reservations, visit Programming at the Franklin Stage Company is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

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