One of Shakespeare’s earliest and seldom done comedies is being set in the Old West, in Verona, Kansas. It is 1875, and the small town of Verona is nestled somewhere between Dodge City and Wichita. It is a comedic tale of friendship, love, betrayal, and a little dog.
The Wichita Shakespeare Company (WSC) opens its 2013 Shakespeare-in-the-Park series with “The Two Gentleman of Verona.” In what was likely the very first comedy written by Shakespeare, the play tells the story of Proteus and Valentine – two friends who are both in love with the beautiful Silvia. To add to the rollicking adventure in the play, WSC’s production of “The Two Gentleman of Verona” will be set in a Wild West Kansas, circa 1875. To further the Wild West theme, WSC is excited to be performing the Sat June 22nd show at historic Cowtown.
The play is directed by veteran WSC actor Kevin Sowers. Kevin is making his WSC directorial debut with “The Two Gentleman of Verona.” He recently directed “Moonlight & Magnolias” at Wichita Community Theatre. The impressive cast assembled for this production includes Jared Wise as Valentine, Michael Webber as Proteus, April Karber as Silvia, Zoe Burke as Julia, Vonda Schuster as Launce, and Beth Wise as the Duchess. Others in the cast include Amanda Denning, Stephanie Brean, Heather Jewell, Elizabeth Anderson, Dan Schuster, Curtis Proctor-Artz, Danzel Muzingo Bond, Kevin Dickson, Ben Blankley, Arietta Austin, Christina Dickson, Jessica Gaddis, and Jessica Gagnon.
All shows will begin at 7:00 pm, with an approximate running time of two hours. As always, the play is performed free to all audiences (including the Cowtown performance) but donations are accepted and appreciated. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and, of course, bug spray. In the event of inclement weather, there will be a message posted at 6 pm on the WSC line (316-655-2017) alerting if the show has been cancelled for that evening.
Proteus: Michael Webber
Valentine: Jared Wise
Julia: Zoe Burke
Silvia: April Karber
Launce: Vonda Schuster
Speed: Danzel Muzingo Bond
Lucetta: Liz Anderson
Duchess: Beth Wise
Antonia: Heather Jewell
Panthino: Kevin Dickson
Thurio: Dan Schuster
Host: Ben Blankley
Saloon Drunks: Stephanie Brean, Amanda Denning
Outlaws: Christina Dickson, Jessica Gaddis, Jessica Gagnon, Arietta Austin
Crab: Juno Sowers
Eglamour: Curtis Proctor-Artz
Dancing Saloon Girls: Angela Clark, Christina Larsen, and Crystal Jones from ART Burlesque
Directed by Kevin Sowers
Stage Manager: Arietta Austin
Costumes and Props: Jane Tanner
Show Dates and Locations:
June 7th – College Hill Park, Wichita
June 8th – Hap McLean Park, Park City
June 9th – Riggs Park, Haysville
June 14th – Buffalo Park, Wichita
June 15th – Central Riverside Park, Wichita
June 16th – Andover Sports Park, Andover
June 21st – College Hill Park, Wichita
June 22nd – Cowtown, Wichita
June 23rd – Hand Park, Derby
Admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted. In the event of inclement weather, any cancellations will be posted here or you may call Kevin Sowers at 316-650-5082 for any pending information.