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updated: 8/25/2014 9:00 AM

Wheaton's Shakespeare in the Park to feature 'Love's Labour's Lost'

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  • Wheaton College's Arena Theater will perform Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29 and 30, in Wheaton's Memorial Park.

      Wheaton College's Arena Theater will perform Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29 and 30, in Wheaton's Memorial Park.
    Courtesy of Wheaton Park District

 
By Bonnie McMaken
Wheaton Park District

Theater under the summer night sky returns to Wheaton's Memorial Park with Shakespeare in the Park's performance of "Love's Labour's Lost."

Performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 29 and 30, at 208 W. Union Ave., Wheaton. The park opens for seating and concessions at 6 p.m. each night. The rain date is Sunday, Aug. 31. Admission is free, but donations are welcome and will benefit the DuPage County Historical Museum.

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Wheaton Park District and Wheaton College's Arena Theater have teamed up to present the light tale about attraction, mistaken identities and love. The partnership began last year with the intention of bringing Shakespeare in the Park to Wheaton for years to come.

"We were very happy with the success of the event last year, and now we're building it to become something more established as we go. We're laying the groundwork in the second year to do this great community event every year," said Andy Mangin, production manager of Arena Theater.

"Love's Labour's Lost" was one of the first plays William Shakespeare wrote. Considered one of his comedies, the story follows the high-jinks of the king of Navarre and his three lords, Berowne, Longaville, and Dumaine, who all swear an oath to scholarship, which includes fasting and avoiding contact with women for three years. However, as the men encounter visiting fair maidens, flirtations fly and confusion ensues.

Mangin said the cast will be made of primarily Arena Theater alumni, but also will include students. Students are also involved in the planning and backstage elements of the production. Mark Lewis, acting and theater professor at Wheaton College, is the director.

"Shakespeare's original words are beautiful and have stood the test of time; we want to bring them to life even more while best serving the play," Mangin said. "We found last year that we liked integrating music into the evening. The beautiful words, the crazy characters, the evening light, your neighbors, the music: It can all work together to make the evening in Memorial Park unique and full."

For more details, visit wheatonparkdistrict.com. To learn about Wheaton College's Arena Theater, visit wheaton.edu/Arena-Theater.

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