Seeing double with Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’

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“Comedy of Errors” rehearsals underway with (from left) Brandon Foster (Aegeon), Gunnar Johnson (Antipholus of Syracuse), Anamaria Guerzon (Dromio of Syracuse) and Michaela Fender (Aemelia). 
Credit: Cassandra Garrison

A madcap story of mistaken identity featuring two sets of identical twins separated at birth is none other than William Shakespeare’s play “Comedy of Errors.”  This particular show is an example of PLU’s commitment to providing dynamic and challenging experiences for students in all aspects of theater with classical text, a large cast, and unique stage effects.

Shakespeare’s shortest play begins with a shipwreck that separates a family: twin brothers with a matching pair of twin servants are separated into brother/servant pairs and each assumes that the others have died. Many years later, all four find themselves in the same town with farcical results. PLU’s production will be set on a 1920s movie studio back lot to highlight the screwball comedy inherent in the text. The production’s director and Chair of Theatre and Dance Tom Smith proclaims, “We have a large cast, a crazy set, and fantastic costumes and lighting. We’re supplementing that with foley – live sound effects – and the result is like watching a movie played out live on stage!” 

Like all of Shakespeare’s comedic plays, a deeper look at the script allows audiences to find important themes that stretch through time, like sense of identity and who you are when everyone else says you’re someone else. Regardless of what scholars may say, this mixed-up character debacle transports you to another world and is thoroughly entertaining. Director Smith said, “I was drawn to directing a piece that would allow us to forget – if only for an hour or so – these stressful times. ‘Comedy of Errors’ provides relief from today’s headline news and transports us to a simpler and more charming era.”

Pacific Lutheran University’s Department of Theatre & Dance will present the slapstick comedy Oct. 31, Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. Performances take place in the Eastvold Auditorium in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at Pacific Lutheran University

12180 Park Ave. S., Tacoma.

Tickets are on sale now online only at www.eventbrite.com/e/comedy-of-errors-tickets-73327090301. Tickets may also be purchased at the door right before each performance begins. Price: $10 general admission;

$5 seniors, military, PLU staff/faculty/alumni/families; free for PLU students or 18 and under. 

For additional information, call the Department of Theatre & Dance at (253) 535-7772 or theatre-dance@plu.edu. Connect at twitter.com/PLUTheatreDance or facebook.com/plutheatredance.

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