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Wellesley Players to perform “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, April 14-22

The Wellesley Players have produced an innovative production of Shakespeare’s early comedy, “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” in the intimate black box theater at the Dorothy and Charles Mosesian Center for the Arts in Watertown. Performances are April 14-15 and 20-22 at 8:00 p.m., and April 23 at 2:00 p.m.

Director Kat Alix-Gaudreau has chosen to set this story of love gone awry in the United States during the counterculture of the 1960s. The show will be performed against the backdrop of the women’s liberation movement and sexual revolution.

The story tells the tale of a king and his three loyal friends who decide to study for three years in seclusion, avoiding women and other temptations. It sounds like a good plan until the Princess of France and her three ladies appear on the scene and the fun begins.

It’s been five years since award-winning actor Nick Bennett-Zendzian has done a Shakespeare play. “I love the challenge of Shakespeare – the poetry and language,” he says. “It pushes you as an actor to make off the wall choices as a performer and no matter how crazy the choices, the text can support you.”

Wellesley residents Jim Pugh and Olivia Rizzo are part of this talented cast, which has been practicing at the Wellesley Community Center for the past two months. When asked about the challenge of doing a play by Shakespeare, Pugh responded with a wink and a smile. “I did Shakespeare in college, but this is a return for me. I have the fewest lines, so its not that scary!”

Olivia Rizzo, who plays the lady in waiting Maria, has enjoyed being a part of a production that tackles important issues for our time. “We need pieces of art like this to explore ideas about women’s roles and start conversations that will hopefully initiate change in the not so distant future. This show makes me think of Carrie Fisher’s famous quote ‘Take your broken heart, turn it into art.’ That’s exactly why we are here and want everyone to come see this show.”