Decorated by Queen Elizabeth II at BuckinghamPalace for his contributions to the arts, Nicholas Baker is no newcomer to theater. The arts veteran is directing the Little Theatre Group’s upcoming production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” the first time it has been produced in Costa Rica, Baker says.
Born in Plymouth, England, Baker graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in conjunction with LondonUniversity. He then acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Liverpool Playhouse and Taurus Productions. He also worked with BBC Television and in British films.
Baker arrived in Costa Rica 47 years ago and has worked as a theater director, impresario of international theater spectacles and as director of Sala Garbo movie theater. He served as director of the Culture Ministry’s film department in 1977 and has worked extensively for the National Theater Company, the National Theater and the Laurence Olivier Theater in San José.
About directing Shakespeare, Baker says the themes have not changed since the Bard’s time.
“Love, spite and revenge have maintained their relevance for 500 years,” he says. Nowhere has Shakespeare used his favorite device of mistaken identity more fastidiously than in “Twelfth Night.” Hilarious confusion abounds, along with love, marriage, jealousy, rage, fights and duels. The play ends with a comment on the madness of love. It is the last and considered the greatest of Shakespeare’s comedies.
The international Costa Rican, English, Ukrainian, German, North American and Canadian cast includes Rubén Araya, Dennis Atkinson, Larissa Banting, Stacy Chamblin, Andrew Gardener, Gunther Gorny, Theodore Hope, Andrew Loveday, Joseph Loveday, Noel Montagano and Kathryn Smith.
The play is set to run Sept. 4 to 27, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, at the Laurence Olivier Theater at Avenida 2, Calle 28. For tickets and information, visit www.littletheatregroup.org or call 8858-1446.
–Carol Roup & Susan Liang