Love Will Shake was newly written as a heart-map converging Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays into a narrative: Poet loves beautiful young man on a sunny day. Poet then loves dark lady during the moonlit night. Poet finds out beautiful young man and dark lady are having tempestuous sex. What the Poet loses in love, he gains wisdom through the thunderstorm in his heart. The Poet lives to write stories of men and women revealing the atmosphere in our souls through their experiences in the whirlwind of humanity for over 400 years.
The representation of Shakespeare was divided into two lonely poets, William M. (male) and William W. (female), both vaguely cross-dressed. Queen Elizabeth, who appears already dead, identifies with them, “You have made a division of yourself? Queer. But I see the use. I am my own double- a virgin prince.” The most celebrated Poet and Queen converge with the LGBT community, long hidden in the murky clouds and closets of public dissent. Where Shakespeare’s bisexuality emerges from of the shadows in this telling of his life, our LGBT compatriots are now basking in the sunrise of acceptance as the prevailing winds propel state after state to legalize marriage for same sex couples.
Drawing inspiration on Shakespeare’s stratospheric talent with words, the costumes reflected his language by using text reprinted from the letters of Queen Elizabeth. The effect of printed pattern rippled with the subsequent creation of printed lace and blackwork textiles, digitally designed from historical sources, to reflect the complex surface textures of Tudor textiles. The printed fabrics created a tension between the tactile and visual textures, mapping the maelstrom of the character’s undercurrents, while maintaining the two-dimensionality of the written word, the source of Shakespeare’s heart.
Love Will Shake
William Shakespeare, Adaptation by John Schmor
University Theatre, University of Oregon
Set Designer: Heidi Knight-Meigs
Costume Designer: Alexandra Bonds
Lighting Designer: Janet Rose
Sound Designer: Bradley Branam, Ryan Dougherty
Director: John Schmor
Choreographer: Walter Kennedy
Projections: Bradley Branam