Love’s Labours Lost – Director Interview

Love’s Labours Lost – Director Interview


[music] Hi, I’m Jim Butchart. And I’m the director of Love’s
Labours Lost, here at the University of
Wisconsin-Whitewater What’s important is that
Shakespeare wrote plays that literally are eternal. They’re about how people
behave, hasn’t changed in 400 years. And he captures the way people
behave, the relationships between people, how people
mature, the comedy of people, what we are about, in a just
absolutely gorgeous way that continues forever. “Some say a sore; but
not a sore, till now made sore with shooting. The dogs did yell; put L to
sore, then sorel jumps from thicket.” Yep, it’s an early
Shakespeare play. And I think it’s a young
person’s view of the world. It’s got some of the youngest
people, maybe a little younger in Romeo and Juliet. But they are very young people
at the beginning. And it’s about growing up. It’s about maturing. It’s about finding out how
to make your way in life. To give people a basic plot,
it’s four guys who get all gung-ho about studying and
want to study and learn. And in order to do that, they’re
going to sacrifice. They’re going to
give up women. And they’re going to only
sleep three hours a day. And they’re going to fast
most of the time. And they make all these sort
of commitments that young people often do. And they hold onto
them for about– in the play– I think, 12 minutes. Four girls show up,
who are gorgeous. And suddenly, they’re
struck with love. “He rather means to lodge you
in the field, like one that comes here to besiege his
court, than seek a dispensation for his oath,
to let you enter his unpeopled house. Here comes Navarre.” “Fair princess, welcome to
the court of Navarre.” “‘Fair’ I give you back again;
and ‘welcome’ I have not yet.” It’s a real play. And that’s interesting. We haven’t talked about that. Comedy– the standard definition of
comedy is everything works out in the end. Everything works out all
right in the end. Well, I think everything
works out all right at the end of this. But it’s not all right the
way people expect. It’s not, oh, everybody at
the end gets married. And everybody’s happy. And all the problems
are solved. There are still problems. People don’t get married
at the end. Biron, in the play, says, this
“doth not end like an old play; Jack hath not Jill.” You
know, it doesn’t work out the way you think it would, which is
another reason back to why Shakespeare is so great. He wrote plays that– we would call this today
a tragicomedy. We would call it a play that
is like real life. Things don’t get wrapped
up neatly in the end. Either it’s tragically
with the hero dying. Or in a comedy, rom com,
he meets the girl. And in the end, they always
get together. And you find out everything
was fine. No, that doesn’t quite
happen in this play. It’s a good play. I think it’s a good play, simply
in the plot of it, simply in keeping you interested
in what’s going on. You go to plays. You watch TV. You read books to find out
what happens next. This play, I think
it’s interesting. And oh, what’s going
to happen next? “When tongues speak sweetly,
then they name her name, and Rosaline they call
her; ask for her. And to her white hand
see thou do commend this seal’d-up counsel. There’s thy geurdon; go.” “Gardon, O Sweet Gardon! Better than remuneration,
a’leven-pence better; most sweet gardon! I will do it sir. Gardon! Remuneration!” Another one of the reasons to
come see the play is you get a chance to see it. We’re doing in our
smaller space. You get a chance to see theater
in a different space than some people might have. We’re doing it in the Hicklin,
which seats about 130 people. It’s much smaller. You’re much closer to it. I think you can be
involve with it. Because Shakespeare
is difficult. The language is difficult. And it requires actors
to work in a particular way with language. That difficulty is multiplies
in a larger house. Because not only do you have to
be able to make sense out of the words, you have to make
them clear and understandable to the back row in Barnett. In Hicklin, there’s
less of that. You still have to make them
clear and understandable. But it’s a much smaller space. So that’s part of it. Particularly if you’re
over here. And you’re facing this way. We lose it over there. If you’re over here facing it,
we lose it over there. All right, got to be clear. Got to be clear. We can’t understand the words. Got to be. I’ll be on your case for that,
for everything through it. At it goes up and down. It’s there. We’re aware of it in some. Some of it is because
you’re reading. But we have to, have to, have
to keep that there. I would encourage people to
not base their judgment on what they’ve had before. People have seen a lot
of bad Shakespeare. And Shakespeare can
be done in a way. To me, it’s like saying I don’t
like rap music because I heard bad rap. There’s good rap too. I don’t like Country-Western
music. There’s a good Country-Western
too. So I would say to try
to remove those. And once again, I promise you. If there’s something, I will
make sure that everything in that play is understandable, in
a way that you can get it. “This senior-junior,
giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded
arms, the anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, liege of
all loiterers and malcontents, dread prince of plackets, king
of codpieces, soul imperator and great general of
trotting ‘paritors. O my little heart. And I to be a corporal of his
field, and wear his colours like a tumbler’s hoop!” I think many people have been
corrupted by bad Shakespeare and by Shakespeare that lays
emotion over the meaning. And– I am going to apologize to any
English teacher out there– English teacher’s reading
Shakespeare poorly to them. Shakespeare was not
meant to be read. It was meant to be heard. All right? So I’m guaranteeing you that
you will understand what’s being said. “The matter is about me, sir,
as concerning Jacquenetta. The manner of it is, I was
taken with the manner.” “In what manner?” “In manner and form following
sir; all those three: I was sitting with her in the
manor-house, sitting with here upon the form, and taken
following her into the park; which, put together, is in
manner and form following.” [music]

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