When a pair of crisscrossed lovers gets tangled up in a romantic farce of hidden agendas, cunning meddlers and a vengeful sibling, it's pure Shakespeare.
Or is it?
The Very Ecstasy of Love, the latest production by the departments of Theatre and Stagecraft & Event Technology at Douglas College, borrows from a lost play of the Bard's, but at the same time adapts it to make it a story uniquely West Coast.
The play stars North Delta residents Alexa Carriere (as Camila) and Spencer Stump (Anselmo), and Surrey residents Zach Blumke (Will) and Vikki Brown (Doris).
Thrasso Petras, director, and Allan Lysell, co-ordinator of the college's theatre department, took the story of a mismatched bride and groom who find their true loves at their own wedding reception and set it on one of the Gulf Islands, adding to it elements of West Coast living.
It's an experiment in "cultural mobility," says Petras, referring to the idea, put forth by Charles Mee, an American playwright, of taking existing plays and adapting them to local cultural norms and traditions.
Though set in modern times, Ecstasy is still Shakespearian, and will - as with many of Shakespeare's comedies and romances - poke holes in audience members' perceptions of love, Petras says.
The Very Ecstasy of Love runs March 16-24 at the Laura C. Muir Performing Arts Theatre, Douglas College, in New Westminster. Tickets ($8-$12) are available by calling 604-521-5050.
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