Author: Jill Kimball

CU Theatre stages Shakespeare’s farcical ‘Comedy of Errors’

The University of Colorado Boulder’s theatre season continues with “The Comedy of Errors,” a wacky, clever Shakespearean farce. The colorful, lively production, directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Kevin Rich, runs March 14-18 in the intimate Loft Theatre.

One of the Bard’s funniest romps, “The Comedy of Errors” follows two pairs of twins who were separated from their siblings at sea. Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse travel across the Mediterranean to Ephesus, where their identical counterparts live—and a hilarious journey of music, magic and mistaken identities unfolds.

Rich, a Shakespeare expert whose research has explored performance practices in the playwright’s own time, will embrace the original setting of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city in present-day Turkey—but that doesn’t mean audiences should expect staid classical theatre.

“People are going to walk in and feel like they’re on a street corner in Ephesus,” he says. “It’ll be a bustling market setting, with a street musician and vendors.”

In Shakespeare’s time, plays were almost always accompanied by lively music, and Rich wants to embrace that tradition. He’s collaborating with Senior Instructor of Dance Jesse Manno—a talented  performer who specializes in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern instruments—so patrons can expect to hear everything from accordion tunes to folk melodies on the oud, a type of lute.

Another aspect of vintage Shakespeare Rich wants to explore? That special connection actors had with audiences 400 years ago. In Elizabethan times, actors weren’t playing to passive observers in a darkened room—they were breaking the fourth wall, addressing patrons directly and encouraging them to react rowdily.

“These plays were written to be performed and enjoyed, not analyzed,” Rich says. “If you approach Shakespeare from a 20th-century theatre perspective, you lose some of the authenticity. Performing in a black box theatre will allow us opportunities to shake off the formality a little.”

Rich also has a few more tricks up his sleeve—they involve actors playing more than one role, gender-bending and some unexpected sound effects—but he doesn’t want to share details quite yet. Just take his word for it: It’ll be a night of knee-slapping fun.

“When I was younger, I went through a phase where I was like, ‘I just want to do serious plays,’” he says. “Now, I think there’s room for all of it, and I’m ready to create a delightful night at the theatre. I think everyone could use a pick-me-up these days.”

Upcoming CU Theatre events View all events

A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All)

Loading
Sep 26-29, 2019

A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All)

A play by Carlos Murillo
Free tickets available starting Aug. 26, 2019.

"A Human Interest Story (Or the Gory Details and All)" offers an explosive look at the media's portrayal of violence in a modern era. Nature documenta...

Burning the Old Man

Loading
Oct 10-13, 2019

Burning the Old Man

A play by Kelly McAllister
Season ticket starting at $61

Two brothers who can’t stand each other have 24 hours left to fulfill their dad’s dying wish to have his ashes scattered at Burning Man. W...

Shakuntala

Loading
Oct 31-Nov 3, 2019

Shakuntala

An adaptation of the play by Kalidasa
Season tickets starting at $61

Originally noted in the classic Indian epic Mahabharata, Jashodhara Sen's and Nolan Carey's adaptation of "Shakuntala" tells the timeless story of des...

2018-19 NPF Winner – TITLE TBA

Loading
Free tickets available starting Oct. 7, 2019.

Each year, the New Play Festival gives the next generation of theatre artists the opportunity to share staged readings of their new plays with an audi...

A Broadway Christmas Carol

Loading
Nov 15-Dec 8, 2019

A Broadway Christmas Carol

A musical created by Kathy Feininger
Season tickets starting at $61

What the dickens happened to Scrooge? He sings (show tunes), he dances (time steps and classic Fosse), he turns into a ham (and we’re not talkin...