The greatest love poetry in the English language provides the springboard for master playwrights' never-before-published works about the triumphs and tragedies of the heart.
The sonnets and plays in Loves' Fire are the seeds and fruit of an extraordinary project: seven sonnets by Shakespeare, newly envisioned for the stage, in one-act plays by seven brilliantly gifted contemporary playwrights.
Shakespeare's sonnets of romantic and sexual love are timeless, for they are not bound to any particular setting or to either sex. These seven plays, each paired with the sonnet that inspired it, are startling not only in the variety of their mood, content, and setting, but also in their unusual interpretation. For example, Wendy Wasserstein's version of Sonnet 94 is a one-act play set in the Hamptons, where a well-to-do couple is getting ready for a society benefit; Eric Bogosian creates a story of sexual jealousy and obsessiveness from Sonnet 118; and composer William Finn has transformed Sonnet 102 into a song about an artist attempting to paint his lover -- and failing.These seven new works, commissioned and produced by the Acting Company, will be performed in June. Brought together in this slender volume with the sonnets, they form a unique tribute to Shakespeare -- a rich and marvelously entertaining celebration of the modern playwrights' adoration of the Bard.