By Jada Butler
Post Theater Company’s (PTC) production of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” is a play of twists and turns. It explores marriage, duty, theft, and the strife that occurs through the mistaken identities of two sets of estranged twins. Opening night for this all-female slapstick comedy is Friday, Oct. 6, with the curtain rising at 7:30 p.m. in the Little Theater.
One week from opening, the actors portrayed vivacious energy in rehearsal. Through the complicated prose of Shakespeare, these actors bring a simplistic air to the language, allowing the comedy to tell the story through the carefully crafted expression and movement. The cast displays a captivatingly uid dynamic that appears natural. For the most part, it is evident that they are having fun.
Director Ryan Quinn, who comes from outside of the university, guides his cast from scene to scene, allowing them to come across the “magic” moments through their own discovery. “It’s a combination of getting to know your cast and what they find funny, and compressing each moment and allowing the lines to play themselves out with clarity,” Quinn said.
“The Comedy of Errors” is a comedy that plays on extremity. Over-the-top reactions emphasize the messages being conveyed by the characters. “We use dance and music to show the extremity of expression when words can’t say it all,” Quinn said.
Stage manager and junior technical theater major, Katherine Keaney, whose responsibilities include communicating between the actors and technical crews, said the costuming and set design play large roles in bringing the characters to life. “The set is like Tim Burton meets New Orleans, and the costumes really exemplify that too,” Keaney said.
The 14-member cast of “The Comedy of Errors” has been hard at work through four weeks of rehearsal. Isabelle Rutens, junior musical theater major, leads one half of the dynamic twin duo as the traditionally male role of Antipholus of Syracuse. “I tried to approach Antipholus not as a woman playing a man, but rather as a human playing another human,” Rutens said. Her character is an outsider to the town of Ephesus where in the play is set, and for that reason, she serves as the main link between the audience and the action happening in Ephesus. “It’s been really exciting and challenging to see how I can keep throwing the ball in the air [to my castmates] and how I can get the audience engaged,” she added.
PTC is offering multiple chances to see the production, with seven show dates. You can catch the performances the first week on Friday, Oct. 6 & Saturday, Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. The following week’s performances will be from Thursday, Oct. 12 through Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m.
General admission is $15, seniors are $12, and student tickets are $10. A season subscription that provides unlimited attendance to all mainstage PTC productions is $100. Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Little Theater, or online at tix55.com/ptc700. Contact the box office at 516-299-2356 for more details.