I recently had the pleasure of attending “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” by William Shakespeare at the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre. I was very excited to be attending the play, as the only other play I’ve attended was “Romeo and Juliet” a few years back.
One of the things I really loved about the play was how much expression and enthusiasm the actors put into the portrayal of their respective characters. An issue that I’ve experienced while reading or listening to Shakespeare, as many students have probably experienced, is that it’s sometimes difficult to understand the language.
I had never read this particular play by Shakespeare, so when I went into the theatre, I had no idea what the story would entail. I was pleased to find that I didn’t need to know much about the story in order to be able to follow what was going on because the actors did such a fine job of expressing what was going on through their movements and expressions.
As I only have a background of theatre from what I learned in high school, I could have never fully fathomed the amount of dedication it takes to put on a production like the one I attended.
Lydia Kanz, a junior majoring in musical theatre and minoring in dance, played the role of Pantino and musician in the play. This isn’t Kanz’s first play either; she has been in many plays before “The Two Gentlemen of Verona.”
“What intrigues me about theatre is the concept of taking something bound in words, written on a page, and bringing the story and its characters to life,” Kanz said. “The amount of thought, creativity, and differing ideas used to make a show its own is incredible.”
The amount of work that goes into putting on a play is in itself worthy of notable praise.
“There are countless hours put in by every member of the cast and crew, whether they’re memorizing lines or building the set or making costumes. We try to make it look effortless when in fact there is an incredible amount of hard work put into making a show.” Kanz said.
Everyone that worked on the production did an amazing job at doing just that. They made the story come to life while making it seem as seamless and as well put together as possible.
With all of this hard work, USD should continue to promote its fine arts programs more often. Data supports the study and participation in the fine arts as a key component in improving learning throughout all academic areas and levels. Evidence shows its effectiveness in reducing student dropout, raising student attendance, developing better team players, fostering a love for learning, improving greater student dignity, enhancing student creativity and producing a more prepared citizen for the workplace for tomorrow.
This was the first play put on by the theatre department for the fall semester. It was an amazing experience to sit in the front and so close to the actors. I believe that this is part of what made my experience so much more interactive.
The play itself was very comical and the performance itself lent itself to a great applause at the end of the show. I look forward to attending the theatre’s upcoming productions, especially the production of “Mud” by Maria Fornes coming up this spring semester.