The Two Gentlemen of Verona 2006

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Directed by Mark von Eschen, Set and Lighting Design by Stephen Wade, Costume Design by Carla Orosz

Venue :

The play opens with Valentine teasing Proteus for being in love, Valentine is about to leave Verona for Milan to serve in the General’s Army.  Speed, Valentine’s servant, enters looking for Valentine but starts joking with Proteus.  Speed convinces Proteus to pay him for delivering love letters to Julia.  Julia asks her maid Lucetta for her opinion of several men who have been wooing her; the ladies clearly are attracted to Proteus, however Julia’s modesty prevents her from showing any obvious signs of affection.  She scolds Lucetta for having a love letter from Proteus thinking it could jeopardize her reputation; Julia tears the letter up in haste before reading it, which she quickly regrets.  Antonio, Proteus’s father, asks his driver Panthino for advice about his son.  Panthino tactfully suggests that Proteus might be happiest if he is allowed to discover the world, perhaps joining Valentine in the General’s ranks.  When Proteus enters reading a love letter from Julia he tries to hide it from his father saying it is from Valentine; this strengthens Antonio’s resolve to send his son out into the world.  Proteus is disheartened because he knows his dishonesty will separate him from Julia.  Valentine, now in Milan, has fallen deeply in love with the General’s daughter Silvia, and Speed his man taunts him for it.  Silvia has asked Valentine to write a love letter for her, which he gives to her and she delivers it back to him.  Unfortunately Valentine is a bit too jealous (or dumbstruck) to realize she intends the letter for him.  In Verona, Proteus and Julia say good-bye to each other and exchange rings as bonds of their affection.  Launce, Proteus’s servant, will have to leave home to attend on Proteus and is heartbroken because his dog Crab is the only one in his family who hasn’t shed a tear for him.  In Milan, Valentine and Thurio compete for Silvia’s love; she prefers Valentine but her father, the General, favours Thurio, a foreign ambassador.  The General announces that Proteus has arrived in Milan.  Valentine confides in Proteus that he intends on stealing away with Silvia that night, rescuing her from her balcony using a rope ladder.  Valentine is unaware that Proteus is smitten by Silvia and will use that intelligence to plot against the elopement, win the General’s favour, and woo Silvia for himself.

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