The play’s the thing, unless you’re talking about William Shakespeare, whose lines, scenes and sonnets add up to something equally compellling.
That’s the thinking behind the production “Love and War,” which features a 12-person cast performing monologues, acting scenes and reciting poetry for three evenings next week at Brotherwell Brewing, Tuesday through July 18.
It’s the first production for InSite Shakespeare Studio, a project of InSite, a Waco-based theater company led by Luann Jennings that brings theater to spaces across town.
InSite previously has staged “The Second Shepherds’ Play” and “Autobahn,” at University Baptist Church and Cultivate 7twelve, respectively, and shifts to Shakespearean drama — and comedy — for its Shakespearean Studio.
Splitting directing duties with Jennings are Trent Sutton of Jubilee Theatre and Stefanie Wheat-Johnson, who stage managed the Waco Civic Theatre’s production of “The Three Musketeers” that Jennings directed.
“Love and War” is the first of three planned Shakespeare Studio productions aimed at building a Shakespearean company and audience culminating in a summer Shakespeare in the Park, Jennings explained. After “Love and War,” there’s “Music, Magic and Murder” and “Law and Order” planned for the year ahead.
The thematically organized “Love and War” draws from such plays as “Hamlet,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” “Henry V,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “As You Like It” and “Much Ado About Nothing.”
“We get to pick and choose the best stuff,” Jennings admitted. “There’s story and character and the addition of these gorgeous words that are like candy that drops out of the mouth.”
The directors have been working with actors in iambic pentameter verse, characters and background for “Love and War.” “We’re refreshing all our high school English classes on how all this stuff works,” she said.