Comedy of Errors

Jen Wehrs

By going to see “The Comedy of Errors,” which will be performed in Hainline Theatre Nov. 4 through 7, one will be able to see how “Shakespeare can be as fun as ‘In Living Colour,'” as director Sonny Bell, theatre professor, said.To ease the confusion of the plot, one must first understand the makeup of the family. The father (Eric Boye) and mother (Brooke Hildebrand) have twins, (Antipholus of Syracuse – Brad Maune and Dromio of Ephesus – Jon Krajecki). To ensure the care of their children, they adopt another set of twins to be the servants of the first set of twins.

While the two sets of twins are still young, they are mixed and separated from the father. After the children are grown, the father and first set of twins go all over the world searching for the rest of the family. One day in the town of Ephesus, the father of one of the sets of twins is condemned to die because he is Syracusian.

Coincidentally, Antipholus’ brother and his servant twin live in the town. The action of the play centers around the town’s mistaking the twins from Syracuse for the twins from Ephesus. In no way is this brief summary as comedic as the play’s overflow of politically incorrect content and uproarious humor. The play is “pure comedy,” according to Nathan Johnson, who will play the role of Duke.

“It should evoke happiness, as opposed to ‘Hamlet,’ which is made up of action to reaction, whereas this play is purely reaction,” Johnson said.

Jonathan Townsager, who will play the role of Dromio of Syracuse, feels that people will understand the play because it is “relative to the ’90s. People can get mixed up, rumors can be spread, but thankfully, in this play, the mix-ups can be resolved happily.”

The cast of “The Comedy of Errors” wishes to inform the public that the play is not as lofty and unapproachable as the Shakespeare some might have encountered in high school. Hildebrand said he believes the audience “should see a comedy rather than a tragedy, where, at least in this one, the women live. It’s physical comedy (and) anyone could like it.”

The cast ranges from freshmen to third-year graduate students. “Sonny creates such definite characters and establishes a world to exist within, so that each character in the play, no matter how small the part, plays a major role in the story,” Sarah Minth, graduate theatre major, said.

Boye plays the role of an elderly man. “I observed the behaviors of the elderly. It was extremely difficult to become this ancient, old man,” he said.

To get into his part, Boye had to establish an Italian accent, as did other cast members. When asked about the hardest part of performing a play by Shakespeare, the majority of the cast commented on the rigidity of the language.

“Of course the language needs to be made understandable to a ’90s college crowd. It also needs to be comparable to the modern plays that have been remade as movies, like ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Much Ado About Nothing,'” Boye said.

After a few visits with the cast, it was evident this wasn’t just another school play. The cast members, at any given time, would morph into their character, speaking in Shakespearean tongue about what they ate for dinner. The cast became the play, onstage and offstage.

“The stage itself is eye candy,” Boye said.

Even a week before opening night, the stage has taken on a dreamy quality, with colors and angles colliding across every inch of the stage. If you are bored one night and want to see some quality entertainment, check out a performance of “The Comedy of Errors.” Tickets are available at the Hainline Theatre box office. sf cw ps