Shakespearean charm fills the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, where preparations for the 10-show run of “Falstaff in Love” are underway.
This hilarious prequel to William Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays is set to open on Dec. 8, with performances through Dec. 23. Commissioned by the highly respected Oregon Shakespeare Festival and premiering in full production at WICA, the play is written by Scott Kaiser and directed by WICA Executive Artistic Director Deana Duncan.
The play takes Shakespeare’s beloved character Sir John Falstaff and imagines the life before he was known as “a lazy, gluttonous, boastful, selfish, lying and debauched old knight.”
“One of the most challenging aspects of being a playwright is finding a performing arts organization willing to assume the risks of producing new work,” said Kaiser, who will appear at WICA on Dec. 17 for an audience talkback following the show that afternoon. “WICA took a chance on my play ‘Falstaff in Love,’ committing to a full production rather than waiting for another institution to prove the commercial viability of the work. For this reason, I am forever grateful to my colleagues at WICA, whose bold artistic engagement provides invaluable resources—both to professional theatre artists like me and to the Whidbey Island community.”
The cast for the WICA production is as follows:
Jeff Natter, Host, Guard
James Hinkley, Corporal Bardolf, Gardener
David Mayer, Duke of Aumerle, King Henry the Fourth
Andrew Yabroff, Jack Falstaff
Jameson Cook, Boy
Rosaletta Curry, Nell
Sommer Harris, Queen Mary
Shelley Hartle, Lady Katherine
Aleah Stacey, Faith, The Earl of Kent
Tom Harris, The Earl of Salisbury, Crew
“I haven’t had this much fun in a very long time,” Duncan said. “To be in the rehearsal hall with these amazing actors and working with a strong design team, I’m reminded how important live theater is. This art form is rare in that it’s not perfect—perfectly imperfect actually. Theatre allows space for our humanness and then shares that with an audience, creating a once-in-a-lifetime ‘moment’ every night.”
With rehearsals ongoing, the set being painted and a steady hum of activity at WICA as preparations move forward, “Falstaff in Love’s” December premiere and performance run is a week away. Tickets for the play are on sale now. Visit wicaonline.org to purchase tickets today.
Established through a grassroots effort to bring arts programming to the Whidbey Island community, WICA opened its doors in 1996. As Island County’s largest arts employer, WICA is a producing organization that brings local, national and international experiences to its campus in Langley.