Possibly Shakespeare’s earliest romantic comedy, The Two Gentlemen of Verona centers on Valentine and Proteus, loyal friends who are transformed into enemies thanks to their fickle hearts.
After traveling to Milan, Valentine falls in love with the Duke’s daughter, Silvia. By chance or fate, Proteus also falls in love with her, forsaking the woman he left behind in Verona. A jealous Proteus betrays his friend’s plan to elope with Silvia, and the Duke banishes Valentine. Should Valentine and Proteus sacrifice their friendship for desire, or can they somehow find a compromise? This adventurous, romantic story has it all—hidden identities, comedy, a gang of gentlemen outlaws—even a double wedding. Former STC Associate Director PJ Paparelli returns to direct this early Shakespeare classic.
Shakespeare's reputation as dramatist and poet actor is unique and he is considered by many to be the greatest playwright of all time, although many of the facts of his life remain mysterious.
William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire and was baptised on 26 April 1564. His father was a glovemaker and wool merchant and his mother, Mary Arden ... Read more
About the play
The Two Gentlemen of Verona centers is an early play in five acts by William Shakespeare, written perhaps in 1590–94 and published in the First Folio of 1623 from an authorial manuscript. It is a pastoral story about two young friends who travel to Milan, where they are educated in courtly behaviour. The main source of the play's plot was a translation of a long Spanish prose romance titled Los siete libros de la Diana (1559?; The Seven Books of the Diana) by Jorge de Montemayor. Shakespeare is thought to have adapted the relationship of the two gentlemen of the title and the ending of the play from various possible sources, including Richard Edwards's play Damon and Pythias (1565), Geoffrey Chaucer's "The Knight's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales, and especially the story of Titus and Gisippus in Sir Thomas Elyot's The Boke Named the Governour (1531).
Source: Encyclopædia Britannica
PJ Paparelli conceived, co-wrote and directed the original productions of Columbinus at New York Theatre Workshop, Perseverance and Round House Theatres. He is the founder and artistic director of the United States Theatre Project. He is also the artistic director of Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska. From 1998 to 2004, he served as the associate director of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., and has directed Shakespeare across the country including Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and The Folger Theatre. Raven Odyssey, an adaptation of Alaska Native Raven stories, premiered at Perseverance Theatre in 2007. He received two 2006 Helen Hayes nominations for Columbinus and the 2003 GLAAD Media Award for the D.C. premiere of Corpus Christi. He has taught/directed Shakespeare at the Juilliard School, North Carolina School of the Arts, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and the Moscow Art Theatre School. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and lives in Juneau, Alaska.
The 1623 Folio
The "First Folio" was the first collected edition of Shakespeare's plays. The printing of the First Folio in 1623 was a massive undertaking; it included thirty six plays, eighteen of which had never been published before. The editors of the volume, Shakespeare's fellow actors John Heminge and Henry Condell, arranged the plays in three genres, Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. When Shakespeare was writing, plays were not really considered Literature, and hence were not published with the care that, for example, he felt his narrative poems were worth. But in 1616, the year of his death, Ben Jonson published his complete Works--and included his plays (which he called "poems"). It was probably this change in attitude that led Heminge and Condell to initiate the printing of the First Folio.
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The Two Gentlemen of Verona, 1623 Folio
Facsimile courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales.
Selection of articles
The Washington Examiner (January 16th 2012) Euan Morton revives his Shakespearean past