Shakespeare in Love

Date: Nov 03 - Nov 19, 2023

Fountain Hills Theater announces the opening of the comedy "Shakespeare in Love".

To be or not to be…him or her? Young Will Shakespeare has writer's block. The deadline for his new play is approaching, but he's in desperate need of inspiration. That is, until he finds his muse... the feisty, brilliant and beautiful Viola. This crafty young woman is Will’s greatest admirer and will stop at nothing to appear in his next play. Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms, inspiring him to write his greatest romantic masterpiece.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616), the prolific poet and playwright, is often regarded in lofty terms as the greatest writer of the English language. His plays span as many genres as they do decades and are often regarded as brilliant reflections of humanity. That said, shockingly little is known about his life.

In the late 1980s, screenwriter Marc Norman received a phone call from his son Zack, who was studying theatre at Boston College. While learning about Shakespeare, he realized that it might be interesting for his father to write a movie about Shakespeare as he was just starting out as a playwright. Norman found the idea compelling, but he struggled for a few years to figure out a way in. He finally decided “Let’s knock him off the pedestal and kick him around in the dirt for a while... But, let’s restore him to the pedestal at the end, maybe a little higher and with a better idea of why he’s there.”

In 1996, newcomers Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes starred as Viola and Will, and Ben Affleck supported as cocky actor Ned Alleyn. Rounding out the cast were a host of formidable classically-trained actors: Geoffrey Rush as Philip Henslowe, Rupert Everett as Christopher Marlowe, Colin Firth as Lord Wessex, Imelda Staunton as Viola’s Nurse, and Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I.

Shakespeare in Love was released in December of 1998. The film was nominated for thirteen Academy Awards® and won seven, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. In 2005, the Writers Guild of America ranked the screenplay the 28th greatest ever written.

Lee Hall adapted the film to the stage and Shakespeare in Love as a play opened on London’s West End on July 22, 2014 at the Noël Coward Theatre to rapturous reviews.

Centuries after his lifetime, William Shakespeare is still regarded as the greatest writer of the English language. Just as his plays and poetry delight and inspire audiences, readers, and theatre-makers around the world, so too does an imagined version of his life through Shakespeare in Love.

In the past decade, an increasing number of Hollywood movies have served as the basis for stage musicals. This reversed a 60-year trend during which musicals that were hits on Broadway, such as Show Boat, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and others, were eventually turned into successful films.

Artistic Director Peter J. Hill has devoted the current season to this phenomenon with the season comprised almost entirely of movies adapted to the stage.The FHT production, brings the characters of the film to life with an immediacy that cannot be fully equated by film.Artistic Director, Peter J. Hill has brought on acclaimed Shakespearean director Richard Powers to helm this delightful adaptation. Produced by special arrangement with Concord Theatricals. Rated PG for mature themes.

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