Montford Park Players (MPP) presents William Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors running Friday, Saturday and Sunday from May 7–22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre. Per Gov. Roy Cooper’s mandate, audiences will be at 50-percent capacity, distanced and masked as appropriate.
A Comedy of Errors is a typical Shakespearean comedy, involving mistaken identities, angry lovers, false arrests and much confusion, this time with two pairs of identical twins. The MPP production of the play is set during the 1918 Flu Pandemic.
“The initial draw to a 1918 setting was born as a way to incorporate masks onstage during crowd scenes for actor safety,” says director Mandy Bean. “But the costuming possibilities are what clinched it for me because ready-made suits were a newly popular thing in that era, so it’s much more believable that a pair of long-lost brothers could feasibly buy the same outfit.”
Bean also took advantage of the opportunity to incorporate elements of vaudeville and slapstick comedy, and play on society’s post-war obsession with spiritualism and the occult. She cast siblings Jackson and Georgia Cole to play the twin Dromios. One set of Antipholus-Dromios will be played by women and the other by men. Roles were doubled so the show will be performed with only twelve actors.
“As a person who identifies as female, it is challenging but thrilling to find some interesting gender play and dynamics with not only the masculinity of the character but the softer side of his thoughtful way of handling situations by musing to himself,” says Ariel Vetter Robinson, who plays Antipholus.
Jason Williams stars as Ephesus. The cast also includes Savannah Gibson, Sophia Blankenship and Matt Wade. Backstage support includes stage manager Caitlin Lane, sound designer Scott Bean, and director Mandy Bean doing triple duty by designing the sets and costumes.
Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre is located at 92 Gay Street, Asheville. As always, tickets are free. For more information or to obtain tickets, go to MontfordParkPlayers.org, or call at 828.254.5146.