CORVALLIS - The classic comedy of William Shakespeare will mix with modern elements derived from Indiana Jones and Disney's Aladdin when Oregon State University presents "The Comedy of Errors," beginning Nov. 13.
One of Shakespeare's earliest and funniest plays will get a new look as director Marion O. Rossi and scenographer William Earl have chosen to approach the play as a comic adventure story set in an exotic port of the eastern Mediterranean.
The play tells the tale of two sets of long-lost twins who accidentally end up in the same town, causing a "series of hilarious and entertaining mix-ups," Rossi said. Before the identity confusion is cleared up, the audience is treated to a series of wacky characters, farcical situations, physical comedy, and Shakespeare's ever-present clever verses and wordplay.
Borrowing elements from "Aladdin," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and "The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen" will give the presentation a new look, Rossi said.
"We hope to create a theatrical style that resonates with modern audiences while capturing all the fun and frivolity inherent in the text," he said. "The visual elements include an amalgam of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fashions, a vivid backdrop depicting a bustling port and city, and a comic melange of properties and set pieces."
Richard George is technical director for the production; Laurie Mayhew is assistant set designer.
The University Theatre's production of "The Comedy of Errors" will run from Nov. 13-15 and Nov. 20-22. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Withycombe Hall Theater, 30th and Campus Way.
The performance on Friday, Nov. 21, will be sign-interpreted for the hearing impaired and have an available narrative description for the visually impaired.
Tickets may be reserved beginning Nov. 10 by calling the box office at 541-737-2784. Season tickets also are available.
The cast of "The Comedy of Errors" includes:
Matthew Tadlock, a senior in microbiology, as Balthazar
Juliet Miller, a junior in theater arts, stage manager
Rick Luebbers, a junior in English, assistant stage manager; Daniel McLagan, a post-baccalaureate student in geography, as Antipholus of Syracuse; Jared Pieterick, a Crescent Valley High School freshman, as Dromio of Ephesus; Peggy Ringle, a sophomore in math, multi-tasker; Justin Roach, a freshman in communication, as Dromio of Syracuse; Daniel Ungier, a sophomore at Crescent Valley High School, as Angelo; Jen Waters, a sophomore in theater arts, as Emilia.
Justin Lundy, a junior in computer engineering, as Solinus; Jeff Weston, a senior in theater arts, as Egeon.
Nathan Lentz, a freshman in graphic design, as the jailer.
Ryan Manderfeld, a senior in theater arts, as Antipholus of Ephesus.
Ryan Durow, a sophomore in liberal arts, multi-tasker; Sarah Ericksen, a senior in theater arts, as Luciana.
Lee Rianda, a post-baccalaureate student in theater, as the second merchant.
Shannon Freeman, a senior in theater arts, as Adrianna.
Kat Pusel, a sophomore in primary education, as Nell.
Jennifer Backstrand, a junior in theater arts, as the courtesan.
Hermione Carsten, a freshman in liberal arts, as the first merchant.