By Annabelle Smallwood, Staff Reporter
The Hardin-Simmons University Theatre Department is preparing for its version of a popular Shakespearean farcical comedy. The production of “A Comedy of Errors”, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Jennifer Harbour, opens on April Fools’ Day and will run through April 4. Times for the evening performances are 7 p.m. with matinee at 2 p.m.
What makes this production different from any of the department’s more recent shows is that it is a Shakespearean production. HSU has not featured a Shakespearean play in about five years. That is why Harbour feels that it is important to do it now. “The Comedy of Errors” is one of Shakespeare’s early plays and is also his shortest one. The audience will be treated to slapstick behavior, mistaken identity, puns and word play.
Last fall, Harbour taught a “Shakespeare for the Actor” class for the department. Many of the students who were enrolled in that class are now in this production. These students can now take what they learned from their class and put it into action, preparing them for their part in “A Comedy of Errors,” and for future acting venues.
“It is a great thing for our students to be pushed by Shakespeare, but it also is important for them to know how to do it in professional theater,” Harbour said.
This show is a true comedy, as the entire plot is centered around mistaken identity. Two sets of twins are separated at birth, and they are frequently mistaken for one another. This is a show that will hopefully bring out many emotions.
When many hear about Shakespeare, the idea of this performance often brings boredom to their minds. “I think people are sometimes a little intimidated when they hear Shakespeare. We have visions of reading about it in English class and being bored out of our minds. But this is not that Shakespeare. He has some off-colored humor sometimes. It is going to be a good time if you come and allow yourself to go on the ride,” Harbour said.
Another thing that is interesting about this upcoming play is that the audience actually has more knowledge about what is going on than the characters on stage. This causes excitement, and it is inclusive to the audience.
The lead roles of this show include Antipholus, played by Jess Westman and Trey Smith, and Dromio, played by Bethany Soder and Bridgett Mistrot.