Gustavus Presents Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well

Posted on April 21st, 2005 by

The old saying goes “all’s well that ends well.” Really? This question is raised as Gustavus Adolphus College brings William Shakespeare’s play with that title to the Anderson Theatre stage April 28 – May 1. And the audience will be left to decide whether or not it’s true that “all’s well that ends well.”

At first glance, Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well is a traditional romantic comedy. The hero, Bertram, and the heroine, Helen, travel by difficult and twisting paths as they follow their quests. After following their separate tortuous paths, they find themselves back in France, in a fairy tale ending to live “happily ever after.”

However, notes Director Rob Gardner, the play becomes something of a “fractured fairy tale or a skeptical romance.” Their quests take Bertram and Helen on different paths that twist and turn as complexly as the labyrinth on the floor of the Anderson Theatre set. They begin in the decaying old world of rank and privilege of 19th Century France and emerge in the new world of science, equality and modern warfare. Along the way, they travel to Italy through intrigue, deception and war. They find themselves back in France and are, somewhat surprisingly, together. What is lost along the way, notes Gardner “is innocence; what is found is a degree of maturity and wisdom. But the quest keeps going on.”

In the end, keeping with the theme of the title, the King declares a “happy” ending and audience is left to question that decision. Is it really “happy?” Is it really an “ending?” Is it really true that “all’s well that ends well?”

Tickets are available at the Information Desk in the Jackson Student Center or by calling 507-933-7590. Tickets remaining unsold on the day of the performance will go on sale one hour prior to showtime in Anderson Theatre’s box office. Performances begin at 8:00 p.m. April 28 – 30 and 2:00 p.m. May 1.


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