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The Merry Wives of Windsor
Woodward Shakespeare Festival
Fresno, CA
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The Merry Wives of Windsor
Gabriella Lawson, director of The Merry Wives of Windsor, discusses the show she is bring to the WSF stage:

grew up doing ballet and community theatre here in Fresno, where I was born and raised.  I am a graduate of the two-year intensive arts program at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.  I have acted both locally and professionally outside of Fresno and I have had extensive training in dance, stage combat, acting technique, and Shakespearean theatre.  I have seen five summers with the Woodward Shakespeare Festival, both on stage and as a part of the staged readings, and I am extremely excited to be directing The Merry Wives of Windsorthis summer for WSF!

The Merry Wives of Windsoris the story of a knight, Falstaff, who has newly arrived in the British town of Windsor. Running low on funds, Falstaff decides to woo two wealthy local wives, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, to gain access to their money.  The wives soon discover he is attempting to woo them both simultaneously, and plot to play a trick on him for revenge.  Their husbands discover that Falstaff is trying to woo their wives, and, while Master Page merely laughs it off, Master Ford becomes angry and suspicious. What follows is a deluge of pranks and jealousy and generally outrageous behavior, complicated by the fact that everyone is trying to fool everyone else.

Meanwhile, Mistress and Master Page's daughter, Anne, is being avidly pursued by three different suitors, resulting in a challenge for a duel, some awful wooing, and more trickery until she is matched with the man she truly wants.

The version of this play that WSF and I will be presenting this summer will be a high-energy, unapologetically farcical production set in Edwardian Great Britain.  The strict morality and prudishness of the Edwardian period in both dress and decorum provides the perfect setting for this play's antics to be the most offensive and outrageous, and, therefore, the most fun!

Picture refined drawing rooms, demure gowns, and top hats; elegant music and civil conversations over brandy.  Now, picture it all unraveling until Falstaff is soaking and soiled, the parson and the doctor are trying to kill one another, and the townspeople are dressed as fairies running amok through the park at midnight.  

It is this journey that we will take you on:  Exploring the foibles of true humanity at its most ridiculous; the rash impulsiveness that everyone is capable of; the unexpected twists and turns that take us to the happy ending.



Woodward Shakespeare Festival (View)
Corner of Friant/Fort Washington
Fresno, CA 93620
United States


Arts > Theatre

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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