by Lauren Gunderson
directed by Brian Hansen
The Adobe Theater is thrilled to announce its July production, The Book of Will, by Lauren Gunderson.
Not only will the Adobe’s production of The Book of Will be a New Mexico premiere, it may well be the first non-professional production of the play in America.
Gunderson is one of America’s most exciting new playwrights with more than 25 plays to her credit and was most recently listed as America’s most produced living playwright.
In the years following Shakespeare’s death in 1616, the fate of his plays was highly uncertain. Play scripts were hardly considered literature at all, and, in a time free from copyright laws, Shakespeare’s plays were being stolen, bastardized, and rewritten by anyone with a quill. By 1623, with the actors who knew the plays by heart dying off, it appeared that nearly half of his plays would be lost forever.
It was at this point that John Heminges and Henry Condell, two actors in Shakespeare’s company and close friends of the playwright, set out to pull together accurate versions of some 36 of his plays into a single volume, the so-called First Folio of 1623. The task was daunting and the goal elusive; time after time it appears they have failed.
Director Brian Hansen says of the play, “The Book of Will is a story of professional love and commitment shot through with intrigue, back-biting, and the very real possibility that much of the work of our world’s greatest playwright would be lost forever. Somehow Shakespeare’s friends (and rivals!) beg, borrow, and band together to get a seemingly impossible job done. Amidst the noise and color of 17th Century England, The Book of Will follows an unforgettable true story of love, loss, and laughter and sheds new light on a man you may think you know.”
This is a big story involving a big cast; twenty-four roles will be portrayed by sixteen skilled actors, many who audiences will remember from past Adobe Theater performances. including Phil Shortell, Harry Zimmerman, Ronda Lewis, and Linda Williams.
The Book of Will opens July 6th and runs through July 29th at The Adobe Theater, 9813 4th Street NW. Friday & Saturday evenings at 7:30pm, Sundays at 2:00pm. An additional matinee performance has been added for Saturday, July 28th at 2:00pm.
General Admission $20, Discount $17 (Seniors, Students, ATG/PBS Members, Military, First Responders). Opening Weekend Special: All Tickets $15!