Skip to main content
The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: ‘Love’s Labor’s Lost’ produced by Folger Theatre (2019)

Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness
Folger ENCORES, red theater seats fading into darkness

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. As many arts and cultural institutions remain closed during this time, these ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

Folger Theatre
Love’s Labor’s Lost by William Shakespeare
Directed by Vivienne Benesch, Folger Theatre, 2019
Read the Dramaturg’s Notes for this production

Performed by

  • Matt Dallal, Longaville
  • Zachary Fine, Berowne
  • Joshua David Robinson, King of Navarre
  • Jack Schmitt, Dumaine


  • Scenic Design by Lee Savage
  • Costume Design by Tracy Christensen
  • Lighting Design by Colin K. Bills
  • Original Music and Sound by Lindsay Jones

For more on the play, explore our resources on Folgerpedia or view the text on The Folger Shakespeare.

Read the introduction by the production’s director, Vivienne Benesch:

Hello and welcome to Folger ENCORES! I’m Vivienne Benesch and I had the great honor of directing Love’s Labors’ Lost for Folger Theatre in 2019.

The Folger has been missing its audience tremendously this year and they are happy to launch this new series, Folger ENCORES, that brings plays, music, and spoken word from the Folger archives directly to you. This is a scene from our production of Love’s Labor’s that captures the mix of linguistic gymnastics, fun, style and big heartedness that this early Shakespeare comedy exudes.

To set the scene, after having all sworn an oath to forego affections of the heart in lieu of academic study for a three year stretch, four gentlemen take no less than 24 hours before they have each fallen in love with one of the women from the Princess of France’s embassage. In the middle of the night, each gentleman— thinking they totally are alone and safe— retreats to the library (a beautiful recreation of the Paster Reading room in our production) to wrestle with their betrayal and amorous inclinations. What ensues is a joyous unraveling of pride, honor and one of the most eloquent legal defenses for the not only the right to love, but the imperative to love. We had such a great time working on this scene— I hope you’ll enjoy watching it!

If you would like to know more about Folger Theatre please visit There, you’ll find performance histories, artist bios, and information about upcoming programs. We hope you’ll enjoy this, and then join us for these weekly episodes of ENCORES, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you so much for tuning in.

Encores LogoCheck back each Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger TheatreFolger ConsortO.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.