"Two Gentlemen of Verona"

August 4, 2010

Aug. 6-8
White River State Park

When it comes to Shakespeare plays, I have a personal rule that may upset many an English major or teacher: I won’t read one until I’ve seen it on stage or film for the first time.

Reading a play by Shakespeare, particularly a comedy, without having seen it first in its three dimensions, feels like an academic exercise, not like the joyful experience that it should be.

I say that because Heartland Actors Repertory Theatre is returning to White River State Park this weekend with a free production of “Two Gentlemen of Verona.” The cast includes Ryan Artzberger (fresh from Phoenix Theatre’s “Reasons to Be Pretty”), Robert Neal, Sam Fain, and Phebe Taylor.

Alas, since I’ve never seen the play, I can’t honestly tell you what characters to watch for or where it ranks with “Love’s Labours Lost” or “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or “As You Like It” –to name just three of Shakespeare’s comedies that I have seen and loved.

Come to think of it, HART has yet to stage any of these three. Here’s hoping that a successful run this year means more Bard in years to come. For details, click here.