8 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, February 15, 2000
Shakespeare's 'Love's Fire'
blazes onto Basement stage
By Nick Falzone
Daily Arts Writer
When we think of a Shakespearean
performance, we usually envision the
presentation of one of the English
author's celebrated plays. But this week-
end, with their production of "Love's
Fire," Basement Arts introduces us to a
less conventional type of Shakespearean
theatre: one based not upon his plays
but rather on his sonnets.
"Love's Fire" consists of five one-act
plays each inspired by one of the distin-
guished love poems. Five famous play-
wrights, among them Tony Kushner and
Wendy Wasserstein, each composed
their own one-acts three years ago in
response to a request for short dramatic
works based upon a Shakespearean son-
net. After finishing their compositions,
Feb 17-18 at 8 p.m.
the authors com-
piled their work,
are more than a
featured in the
Fire" features only eight actors, four
men and four women who all portray
more than one personage. In addition to
acting in the playwright's interpretations
of the sonnets, though, the performers
bring each sonnet to life when it is read
after the one-act play it has inspired.
One of the actors reads the sonnet out
loud and behind that, "the rest of the
cast gives a physical interpretation to
the core of the sonnet," said actress
Tehaura Henning, an LSA and Music
first-year student. "For instance, one of
the sonnet's lines is 'they are the lords
and owners of their faces: While some-
one reads that, the rest of us interpret it
by gyrating and trying to cover our
faces from the audience."
Julia Siple, a Music senior, brings the
Shakespearean-based production to the
Ann Arbor stage in her Basement Arts
directorial debut. Siple, who also chose
the script, said she selected "Love's
Fire" primarily due to the variety of
writing styles the interpretations exhibit.
"Next to each other, each play high-
lights the many modern styles play-
wrights have and the different ways the
styles work for them," she said, adding
that, "some are funny, some are passion-
ate, some are a little more quirky than
others. In each play, we see the play-
wright's interpretation of the sonnet."
Continued from Page 5
one of the two most-performed operas
in the world today, nearly 200 years
after the first performance. "When you
combine those two things together, the
story and the music, you can't beat it,"
With "The Barber of Seville," the
company continues its tradition of
bringing opera to small cities. "That's
the goal of the company, I believe, to
bring this to small towns that don't
have the opportunity to see this kind of
thing," Sims said. The cities on the
schedule include his hometown of
Orange, Texas, where many relatives
and friends will see him perform for
the first time.
NYCONC introduces students and
families across the country to the art
of opera. Although opera has a repu-
tation for being difficult for main-
stream audiences to grasp, humorous
plot lines such as the one in "The
Barber of Seville" can make it more
accessible to viewers. "It's not bor-
ing, not elitist like you might think,"
Taylor said. "It's a real story that will
make you laugh and make you cry."
Announcing the release of
Salary Supplement 2000
Now available at The Michgan Daily
Second Floor of the
Student Publications Building
420 Maynard St.
or call 764.0550 for more details.
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