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Love's Labor's Lost

February 7

March 26, 2017

at Chicago Shakespeare Theater

by William Shakespeare
directed by Marti Maraden

The Story

King Ferdinand of Navarre convinces his closest friends, Berowne, Dumaine and Longaville, to commit themselves to study with him for three years, swearing off all worldly pleasures—like a good night's sleep, three meals a day, and the mere sight of any woman. And to get his people off on the right foot, the King punishes a clown named Costard for wooing Jaquenetta, a country girl. But after you've decreed that no woman set foot within a mile of your Court, and you've sentenced poor Costard for one simple transgression, how do you then receive the Princess of France with her three ladies-in-waiting when she arrives to negotiate a treaty? One look at the French entourage ignites the men's romantic fervor—and sends their academic ardor up in flames. The four foresworn start setting their love to sonnets, each hoping to keep his rapture under wraps. But unfortunately Navarre's postal service is not entirely foolproof, and letters are misdirected along the way, exposing  even Berowne to his guilty cohorts. The men agree to abandon all scholarly aspirations, and band together in an all-out campaign to conquer the ladies' hearts. The success of their tactical maneuvers now hangs upon the strength of the French resistance that lies ahead.

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