Throughout the past year David Rudi Utter (Doctor Faustus and Frogs) and I have been developing a Shakespeare project for Fault Line Theatre in which we’re attempting to create a mash-up of Love’s Labour’s Lost and Two Gentlemen of Verona. It started with an idea that co-Artistic Directors Craig Wesley Divino and Aaron Rossini had to create a Shakespeare double-feature evening involving one hour presentations of both plays. After they’d passed the project on to Rudi and me, we saw that there was an opportunity for an even more ambitious project. We noticed that both plays are dealing with themes of love, the declaration and breaking of oaths, and betrayal in very different but complementary ways. After spending several months cutting together different versions of the plays we recently had the opportunity to work with a talented group of actors to begin to help us make sense of the project. Our most pressing question heading into this series of workshops was “How do we tell two stories simultaneously in a manner in which the audience can take in and understand?” Over the course of our three workshop sessions we spent time at the table and on our feet creating and exploring the potential verbal and physical vocabulary that we will use to tell this story. This process involved everything from having actors play objects in the space to set the scene, to quickly dawning different hats and articles of clothing when switching characters. After spending so much time working on the plays in a vacuum it was very encouraging to learn that the idea can work and that it has the potential to be an exciting and stimulating evening at the theatre. The actors in the room were immensely helpful in posing questions that hadn’t occurred to us and inventing possible solutions and offering ideas that sent us in completely new and unexplored territory. I’m very excited to see what happens with this project in the future, and although I don’t think we’ve answered our big question, our generous and intelligent actors have certainly pointed us in the right direction.