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NMSU Theatre’s ‘Shakespeare Project’ is much ado about love, romance


“I could not send it – a here it is again – Nor get a messenger to bring it thee, So fearful were they of infection,” wrote William Shakespeare in “Romeo and Juliet” in 1597.

In spite of the Covid pandemic, the New Mexico State University Theatre Department continues with outstanding productions with “The Shakespeare Project,” which streams beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 6, and continues until 11:55 p.m. Sunday, May 9.

In the show, NMSU Theatre will present favorite scenes and monologues from not only “Romeo and Juliet,” but also “Much Ado About Nothing,” “The Tempest,” “Twelfth Night,” “Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Two Gentlemen of Verona,” “As You Like It,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and selected sonnets as part of The Shakespeare Project.

The cast is composed of NMSU theater students, theater faculty and community members.

Here is the lineup:

“As You Like It”: Hugo De Billie, Yasmine Jahangiri and Elia Vasquez;

“Merry Wives of Windsor”: Claudia Billings, Nancy Clein Tafoya and Doug Abbott;

“Much Ado About Nothing”: Marissa McElroy and Miguel Navaro;

“Romeo and Juliet”: Joshua Jackson and Yasmine Jahangiri;

“Two Gentlemen of Verona”: Elia Vasquez and Marissa McElroy;

“The Tempest”: Miguel Navaro and Jensen Stell;

“Twelfth Night”: Hugo De Billie, Marissa McElroy and Yasmine Jahangiri;

“Midsummer Night’s Dream”: Jet Montellano and Imani Caldwell.

Sonnets will be performed by Joshua Jackson, Jensen Stell, Hugo De Billie and Elia Vasquez.

NMSU Theatre Department Production Stage Manager Mike Wise, who is directing the show, said he originally intended to build the production around politics – The War of the Roses, “heavy is the head that wear the crown” kind of thing  -- but then “latched onto the idea of love. So, the scenes have a common thread of love and relationships (good and bad), what it’s like to be in love, what it like to want to be in love, what we look for in a partner, how we feel when we are deceived in love,” Wise said.

And Shakespeare certainly had a lot to say about love in the 37 plays he wrote: “The course of true love never did run smooth” (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), “‘Love goes by haps; Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps” (“Much Ado About Nothing”) and “Love is like a child, That longs for everything it can come by” (“The Two Gentlemen of Verona”).

Theatre Department Head Wil Kilroy directed one of the scenes for the production.

Tickets are $12 general admission.

Visit https://theatre.nmsu.edu/performances-events/shakespeare.html

 for ticket information.