‘Shakespeare in Love’ opens The Center for the Arts’ 2019 season in Murfreesboro

Shakespeare in Love Directed by Connie Downer September 20-29 PG-13

Against a bustling background of mistaken identity, ruthless scheming and backstage theatrics, 'Shakespeare in Love' follows a young Will Shakespeare, who's love for rebellious aristocrat Viola quickly blossoms and inspires him to write his greatest masterpiece yet.

William Shakespeare certainly loved incorporating a play within a play – whether it was A Midsummer Night’s Dream or Hamlet.

The master English poet and playwright certainly would have approved of producers employing one of his favorite literary devices in Shakespeare in Love, a comedic romance inspired by the Bard himself.

Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts now tackles the fictional story for its first show of the 2019 season. With direction by Connie Downer, the production runs September 20-29 at 110 W College St in downtown Murfreesboro.

Shakespeare in Love

‘Shakespeare in Love’ grossed $289.3 million worldwide and was the ninth highest-grossing film of 1998. The film would go on to win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), and Best Original Screenplay.

“I am beyond thrilled to be presenting this magnificent play at the Center for the Arts,” Downer said. “It is always such a joy and an honor to direct a play as well written as Shakespeare in Love. There is music, singing, dancing, swordfights, lots of laughter, a few tears, and even a bit with a dog. This is a show about the crazy people who do theatre and anyone that loves theatre should come out and share an evening with us.”

The show stars Christopher Dalton as a young William Shakespeare and Charlotte I. Myhre as the beautiful Viola de Lesseps.

Adapted by Lee Hall from the 1998 Academy Award-winning film written by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman, Shakespeare in Love focuses on Will Shakespeare, a penniless young playwright struggling to find acclaim in the theater during a serious bout of writer’s block. But he finally finds his muse in Viola, the daughter of a wealthy merchant and an aspiring actress during a time when women are not allowed onstage.

Obsessed with Shakespeare’s writing, Viola disguises herself as a man to audition for his new play. Her relationship with Will eventually deepens despite her betrothal to the despicable Lord Wessex for an arranged marriage sanctioned by Queen Elizabeth herself. With opening night — and the wedding day — fast approaching, the plots race toward a parallel conclusion for the two star-crossed lovers.

Tickets start at $14 and are currently on sale at boroarts.org, by calling 615-904-ARTS (2787), or at the Center for the Arts Box Office, 110 West College Street, in downtown Murfreesboro.

Rated PG-13 for sexual themes and mild violence, Shakespeare in Love runs through Sunday, September 29.

Adult $18.00; Seniors (65+)/Students/Military: $16.00; Children: $14.00
Discount of $2.00/ticket for groups of 10 or more. Call 615-904-2787 for group reservations.

Shakespeare in Love performance dates:

Friday, September 20, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 21, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 22, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.
Friday, September 27, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 28, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, September 29, 2019, at 2:00 p.m.

Next up for The Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro:

Oct. 11-27: Sweeney Todd: A Musical Thriller

Nov. 8-24: The Fantasticks

Dec. 6-22: A Christmas Carol


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