Skip to main content
The Folger Spotlight

ENCORES: 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona' performed by Folger Theatre and Fiasco Theater (2014)

Folger Public Programs is pleased to present ENCORES, a bi-weekly online series highlighting past performances and recalling the rich history of programming on the historic Folger stage. These ENCORES provide a way to connect and revisit the breadth of Folger offerings with a wider audience.

ENCORES presents

The Two Gentlemen of Verona
presented by Folger Theatre and Folger Theater
by William Shakespeare
Co-directed by co-directed by Jessie Austrian* and Ben Steinfeld* (2014)

Performed by

  • Jessie Austrian*, Julia
  • Noah Brody*, Proteus
  • Paul Coffey*, Speed/Thurio
  • Zachary Fine*, Crab/Valentine
  • Andy Grotelueschen*, Lance/Duke
  • Emily Young*, Lucretta/Sylvia


  • Scenic Design by Jim Kronzer**
  • Costume Design by Whitney Locher** 
  • Lighting Design by Tim Cryan**
  • Resident Dramaturg, Michele Osherow
  • Production Stage Manager, Shane Schnetzler*

*Actors’ Equity Association
**United Scenic Artists

Read The Two Gentlemen of Verona on The Folger Shakespeare. Read actor Zachary Fine’s rehearsal diary on The Folger Spotlight.

Read the introduction by co-director Jessie Austrian:

Hello and welcome to Folger Encores. I’m Jessie Austrian, I’m really happy to speak with you today. The Folger has been sharing selections from their plays, music, talks, and readings with you in this Encores series. Today we are revisiting the Folger Theatre and Fiasco Theater production of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Ben Steinfeld and I co-directed this world premiere production, which premiered at the Folger. After the Folger run, we remounted the show at Theatre for a New Audience here in New York. We loved this production of Two Gents. It had a little bit of everything: great language by Shakespeare, live music, dance, and lots of big-hearted comedy. All of this was done by a cast of only six.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, thought to be one of Shakespeare’s earliest romantic comedies, is the story of two devoted friends, Valentine and Proteus, the “two gentlemen” of the title. Valentine leaves their home city of Verona for Milan, leaving Proteus behind with his love, Julia, played by me. Soon enough, Proteus leaves Verona and me to head to Milan, taking his servant, Lance, with him.

In the selection you are about to watch, Lance, played here by the terrific Andy Grotelueschen, recounts the mournful goings-on of his family at his departure. With Lance is his faithful dog, Crab, played by the brilliant Zachary Fine. I adored directing this play, and I really love this section. Andy gets all of the great Shakespeare words and Zach as Crab the dog says nothing but steals the show.

Please enjoy this bit of Two Gents with me and join us again for these episodes of Encores, highlighting all that the Folger has to offer. Thank you.

Check back every other Friday for a new “from the archives” performance, introduced by some of our favorite artists, showcasing the best of Folger Theatre, Folger Consort, O.B. Hardison Poetry, and lectures.