The Love’s Labor’s Lost Play-Text

Love’s Labor’s Lost is the first play text of the VERSE project. The inspiration for this fact is due to two essays (see Confer) written by Homer Swander, founder of A Center for Theater, Education and Research (ACTER), the American Shakespeare Company, and Actors From The London Stage. In the essay entitled “Love’s Labor’s Lost: Finding a Text, Finding a Play,” what is an informal motto of VERSE, Swander wrote: “I am seeking collaboration” (151). He continues to explain why,  “To read any modern Shakespearean text is to read a text that is at significant points devised not by Shakespeare but by editors who have deliberately altered not only important words but speech assignments, entrances, exits, crucial punctuation, even structure” (152) … “Ours is, precisely, an archaeological enterprise. Sifting through the debris of centuries, we discover in the original texts amazing plays that long ago dropped out of sight” (153). Swander goes on to state how he and his students were able to take the text to its fullest potential, “We are then privileged to perform them: quite literally, ‘new’ plays-by Shakespeare” (153).