‘The Comedy of Errors’ at Post Theater

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"Pinch the conjurer wards of a seemingly mad and possessed Antipholus of Ephesus." (Photo by Jada Butler.)

By JADA BUTLER

The Post Theater Company’s 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.

This all-female slapstick comedy will be performed on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 15 at 3 p.m. in the Little Theater on the LIU Post campus in Brookville.

One week before opening, the actors portrayed a vivacious energy in rehearsal.

Through the complicated prose of Shakespeare, these student 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 fluid 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 beat to beat, 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 at LIU Post, 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” have been hard at work through four weeks of rehearsal. Isabelle Ruttens, a junior musical theater major at LIU Post, 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,” Ruttens said. Her character is the outsider to the town of Ephesus where the play takes place, 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.

General admission is $15, seniors are $12, and student tickets are $10. A season subscription that provides unlimited attendance to mainstage PTC productions is $100.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office in the Little Theater in front of Kahn Hall on the LIU Post campus, or online at tix55.com/ptc700 or at 516-299-2356.

This article was originally published in the Pioneer, the award-winning student newspaper of LIU Post, www.liupostpioneer.com, and is republished here by Blank Slate Media with the permission of the Pioneer.

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