'Love's Labor's Lost': All About Youth

June 9, 2010 5:45 AM

Alicia Duplessis Jasmin

During the 17th season of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Buzz Podewell, associate professor of theater, and Ron Gural, professor of theater and artistic director of the festival, are orchestrating the actions of two actors very familiar to them.

Buzz Podewell & daughter

Buzz Podewell, right, pictured with his daughter, Jessica Podewell, directs the season opener, Love’s Labor’s Lost, with Jessica in one of the leading roles. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Buzz Podewell’s daughter, Jessica Podewell, plays the role of Rosaline in Love’s Labor’s Lost, while Ron Gural’s daughter, Tori Gural, plays a witch in Macbeth, which her father will direct. Tori Gural will attend Tulane as a first-year student this fall.

For Buzz Podewell, directing his daughter was not as awkward as he expected.The cast had only three weeks of rehearsal time prior to opening night.

“Because we had such a short rehearsal period, we all had to be focused, and there wasn’t any time for mucking about,” he says.

Cast members of this year’s Shakespeare Festival are primarily from the NOLA Project, a theater company of young, experienced actors from New York and New Orleans. Jessica Podewell is a college-trained actor and member of the Actor’s Equity Association. She snagged the role through open auditions.

“When the NOLA Project asked me to come up with a play, I decided on Love’s Labor’s Lost because it is a young play in every way,” says Buzz Podewell. “Shakespeare wrote it when he was young. It’s one of his earliest comedies, and it is about young people, so it seemed logical for me to chose this one.”

It is the first time in 10 years that the veteran director Podewell has directed a play for the Shakespeare Festival.

Love’s Labor’s Lost will run for its third and final weekend beginning Thursday (June 10) through Sunday (June 13) at the Lupin Theater on the uptown campus. Tickets may be ordered by phone at 504-865-5106, at the door, or online.

The opening night gala for Macbeth is June 26.


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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000