Let us once lose our oaths
to find ourselves ...
Lean in for the nonstop shenanigans, and games within games, that comprise Love’s Labour’s Lost! Our characters live in a dying world: the kingdoms of Austeria and Librios face resource shortages, an increasingly untenable climate, a pandemic, and a system that is collapsing around them. It is a world commanded by young leaders, where legendary heroes, the Worthies, shape the values of each nation. King Ferdinand of Austeria, in an attempt to meet the challenges his nation faces, has just issued a decree enforcing study, temperance, and separation from the outside world, with he and his friends and advisers, Berowne and Longaville, vowing to cut themselves off from others entirely for the length of three years. When these leaders meet the Princess of Librios and her advisers, who have come to forge an alliance and make a deal for the territory of Aquian, the young leaders forego responsibility and, for a short time, revel in a celebration of intimacy, love, friendship, and what it is to be alive.
For most of us Zoom theatre is a new way of exploring live performance and communal experiences. Our intrepid cast, crew, designers and you, our audience, “brave conquerors, for so you are”—are all pioneers in this digital medium. Although much has changed since I started planning for this production in December, the question at the heart of the play has remained who we want to be as humans and how we want to spend our limited time on this planet. In the play we see young leaders trying to decide what their path forward should be with the time they have: whether to shut themselves away from the outside world and the distractions of life and love, or to embrace the now. Our world faces many of these same challenges; what values will we choose to uphold? The answers, Shakespeare tells us, are in what we can, and must learn from—and do for—each other. At a time we could not be further apart, I am grateful for the experience of making art with talented artists over five time zones, and we hope to share some of that joy with you, our audience, in the relentlessly antic and game-filled romantic romp that is Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost.
In his years teaching, creating, promoting and performing theater in Hawai‘i, Professor Knapp touched thousands of lives. While he tackled a wide variety of theatrical projects, it was Professor Knapp’s boundless joy for teaching and presenting Shakespeare that we hope to honor with this festival. It is our sincere wish that our affection and respect for our beloved teacher finds a voice in these productions. The Hawaii Shakespeare Festival is dedicated to Terence Knapp.
—R. Kevin Garcia Doyle, Tony Pisculli, Harry Wong III
Dame Judi Dench, Companion of Honour by the Queen’s personal gift and Britain’s Most Outstanding Actress (as voted by her peers) has consented to be the Patron of the Hawaii Shakespeare Festival at the invitation of Terence Knapp.