Skip to main content

Shakespeare's sonnets live on in plays


April 24, 2007

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 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, a master's degree in fine arts directing student in the Herberger College School of Theatre and Film and artistic director of Flagstaff 's Theatrikos Theatre Co. The play contains strong language, poetry and mature thematic material. Tickets range in price from $7 to $22 and are available online at http://herbergercollege.asu.edu/mainstage or through the Herberger College box office by calling (480) 965-6447. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m., April 20-21, 25-28; and 2 p.m., April 22 and 29.