A little ‘Love and Intrigue’ at the Levin Theater

Heated argument between Luise Miller, Herr Miller, and Frau Miller

Heated argument between Luise Miller, Herr Miller, and Frau Miller

By Lindsay Haddox

After Christopher Cartmill translated the nearly 300 year old play Love and Intrigue from its original German language, he was surprised at how modern it felt.

Cartmill has taught this play for years and has even taken his students to Berlin, Germany to learn more about this play.  Through teaching Love and Intrigue Cartmill knew he had to bring a play with so much intensity and that felt so modern to Rutgers University.

Cartmill has taken Frederich Schiller’s work and transformed it into a modern play.  The play was originally performed in 1784, but Cartmill, who translated the play says that he chose to bring the film to Rutgers because, “It feels very modern and there are directions that the play goes that the audience does not expect”.  He added that, “His vision was raw, that the play scares, but in a good way and that it is very youthful and the play has a young feeling.”

Set in mid-century modern Germany, Love  and Intrigue seems  like a love story with a happy ending.  However, this play heavily plays into the class system and how hard it is people for two people from different social classes to fall in love.  Mr. Miller, a musician and Luise’s father and Chancellor von Walter’s, a nobleman and Ferdinand’s father try their hardest to keep Luise and Ferdinand from falling in love.  As Chancellor von Walter’s tries to marry his son off to Lady Millford, Luise is being told to write Ferdinand and untrue letter about her untruthfulness to him to get her parents out of jail and make him forget about her as well.  After all of the lies and deceit will Luise and Ferdinand’s love prevail or does their families get what they wanted?  With a play like Love and Intrigue the audience will be guessing the entire time.

The cast of Love and Intrigue is very accomplished and has two returning Rutgers Mason Gross alumni.  John P. Keller who plays Chancellor von Walters and David Pegram who plays Herr Miller are both returning to the stage at Rutgers University.

Although this play may seem like a love story, there is no real love shown throughout the show.  Shyrley Rodriguez, also a Rutgers student in the Mason Gross program plays Lady Millford and says, “Why isn’t there enough love?  That many characters want and need something and it is just not enough”.  To keep this play modern as well Cartmill casted the lead as an interracial couple which stuck out to many cast members.  Leale DeVerges, a Rutgers Mason Gross student who plays Luise Miller said, “The leads are played by and African American and a Caucasian and with everything happening in Ferguson they are bringing awareness to inter-racial couples makes this play so modern feeling.”

Love and Intrigue opens tonight (Friday, Oct. 31) at 7:30 p.m. at the Phillip J. Levin Theater  on 85 George St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (Rutgers University, Douglass Campus) and will run through Sunday, Nov. 9.  The show is $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni, employees, and seniors, and $15 dollars for Rutgers students.  For more information visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu.