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The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors

a comedy by William Shakespeare

Department of Theatre & Drama
December 5-8, 2013 • Power Center

The Story: Two sets of twin brothers, named in the same manner, are accidentally separated at a young age by a storm at sea. Years later, they unknowingly are all in New Orleans during Mardi Gras in the Age of Aquarius. As the day passes, the foursome unwittingly wreak havoc on friends, family, and the town in a wild adventure of mistaken identity. As each situation grows more ludicrous, the men begin to doubt their own sanity. Yet all is well in the end as the outrageous journey builds to a hilariously unexpected family reconciliation.

Background: One of the earliest works by William Shakespeare and his first comedy, The Comedy of Errors had its first performance in December 1594, although it was not printed until the publishing of the First Folio in 1623. Loosely based on a classical comedy by Plautus, Comedy uses the classical unity of place and time. Shakespeare’s tale of two sets of twins and a pair of sisters expanded upon his source and hinted at his later comedies by combining farce with romance, and an element of tragedy. His shortest work, The Comedy of Errors is a tour de force of irreverent comedy, intricate intrigue, and brilliant wordplay.

Artistic Staff

Director: John Neville-Andrews
Scenic Designer: Vincent Mountain
Costume Designer: Jessica Hahn
Lighting Designer: Miriam Michaels
Wig & Makeup Designer: Erin Kennedy Lunsford
Vocal Coach: Annette Masson
Choreographer: Kristin D’Andrea Condon
Music Director: Jennifer Goltz
Stage Manager: Samantha Vettrus

Cast

From Ephesus

Duke Solinus of Ephesus: Robert O’Brien
Antipholus of Ephesus: Philip Maxwell
Dromio of Ephesus: Ben Blackman
Adriana, wife of Antipholus: Liz Raynes
Luciana, sister of Adriana: Zoe Kanters
Angelo, a goldsmith: Eric Myrick II
Senior Balthazar: Matthew Provenza
A Courtesan: Larissa Marten
A Merchant: Luke Jackson
Another Merchant: Sam Kassover
Dr. Pinch, a conjurer: Matt Daniels
Luce, a kitchen wench: Nicole Gellman
An Officer/Townspeople: Matthew Provenza, Luke Jackson
Townspeople: Danielle Boivin, Emma Jo Boyden, Regan Morrow
A Waiter: Kevin Douglass, Jr.

From Syracuse

Antipholus of Syracuse: Sten Eikrem
Dromio of Syracuse: Elliot Cruz
Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse: Jackson Knight Pierce
Emelia, wife to Egeon: Emily Hanley

Resources

Egeon, an old Syracusan merchant, has been arrested in the town of Ephesus. He explains how he and his wife, Emilia, had identical twin sons and identical twin slaves, purchased for the purpose of serving the sons. In a shipwreck many years ago, he was separated from his wife, one son, and one slave. The survivors are renamed in memory of the lost ones: Antipholus for the son and Dromio for the slave. Once grown, Antipholus of Syracuse, with his Dromio, had set off in search of his brother and mother. Egeon has come to Ephesus in search of them. The Duke gives him until evening to find the ransom money to save his life. By chance Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse have also just arrived in Ephesus. The other Antipholus and Dromio have been living there since the wreck. And so the comedy of errors ensues. The locals constantly mistake the visiting twins for the natives – even Antipholus of Ephesus’ wife Adriana and her sister Luciana are fooled. Calamity reigns until the brothers finally come face to face, save their father, and find their long-lost mother.

— excerpted from the Royal Shakespeare Company

 

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