Shakespeare's sonnets still burn in Love's Fire

Left to right, top to bottom: Marshay Crane (Jennifer), Michael Rodriguez-Torrent (James), Brittany Schoenborn (Rengin) and Erica Campaigne (Lisa) in the ASU Herberger MainStage Theatre production of Love's Fire, April 20 - 29, 2007.

Photo by Tim Trumble, courtesy Herberger College of the Arts

TEMPE, Ariz. – The significance of Shakespeare’s poetry survives in Love’s Fire, a play on five of his sonnets interpreted by some of today’s most notable playwrights. The ASU Herberger MainStage Theatre presents eight performances of Love’s Fire, April 20-29 at the Lyceum Theatre on the ASU Tempe campus.

Contemporary writers including Eric Bogosian, John Guare, Marsha Norman, Ntozake Shange and Tony Kushner explore the Bard of Avon’s language of love. Since the playwrights’ views of Shakespeare’s sonnets contrast in mood, content and setting, the modern characters are challenged to successfully capture Shakespeare’s words and place them in a fresh context.Love’s Fire delivers audiences Shakespeare in an accessible format that reinforces his views about love.

Love’s Fire takes the sonnets, which typically are revered, analyzed and certainly not meant to be read aloud, and transforms them into something new and alive,” says Ron May, guest director and artistic director of the Stray Cat Theatre. “The characters take Shakespeare’s words from the page to the stage – sometimes in ways that are very physical, at times very hot, at times very raw and at times very sexy.”

May co-directs Love’s Fire with Jonathan Beller, an M.F.A. directing student in the Herberger College School of Theatre and Film and artistic director of Flagstaff’s Theatrikos Theatre Company. The play contains strong language, poetry and mature thematic material. Tickets are $7-$22 and are available online at or through the Herberger College box office, 480.965.6447. Show times are 7:30 p.m., April 20-21, 25-28; and 2 p.m., April 22 & 29 at the Lyceum Theatre, 901 S. Forest Mall, south of University Drive and Forest Avenue on the ASU Tempe campus.

The Herberger College School of Theatre and Film provides a comprehensive range of courses in performance and directing; design and production; new work development; theatre and performance studies; film; and theatre for youth. Its Theatre for Youth program is nationally ranked in the top three and the creative writing/playwriting program is ranked 15th among public institutions by “U.S. News & World Report.” Learn more about the School of Theatre and Film at: