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Shakespeare's Famous Farce Gets Cajun Flair

By Amanda Morad | October 11, 2013

The Comedy of Errors opens Friday, Oct. 11 in the Main Theatre.

One of Shakespeare's most famous laugh-out-loud masterpieces, The Comedy of Errors, opens on Regent University's Main Stage on Friday, Oct. 11—and with a twist few would expect.

The farcical romp tells the story of two sets of identical twins who end up in the same town. Regent's production features guest director Daniel Bright, who set the play in Cajun country in the 1850s. Mistaken identities, confusion, jealousy, furious women and a valuable piece of jewelry will keep audiences guessing.

"The spirit and zest of 'zydeco' music, the mystique of the bayou, the robust passions and superstitions of a boisterous and multi-ethnic people, and the joie de vivre of the Cajun culture makes Ephesus, Louisiana, a perfect setting for The Comedy of Errors," Bright said.

"Themes about personal identity, the importance of family, the pain of separation, the desire for wholeness, the limitations and tricks of perception, and the pitfalls of superstition percolated as I explored the text. The more I learned of the remarkable culture and history of the Acadians, I was astounded how the Cajun world merged with the themes and world Shakespeare set on the stage some 300 years earlier. It's as if Shakespeare wrote the play specifically about this Louisiana bayou."

The Comedy of Errors runs Oct. 11-13 and 18-20 with showings at 7:30 p.m. nightly and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Purchase tickets at the Box Office.

"We are very excited to have a director of Dan Bright's talents, insights, and skills join us for this production," said Dr. Michael Hill-Kirkland, chair of the Theatre Arts department. "Dan's particular take on The Comedy of Errors makes for a fascinating blend of comedy, farce, and pathos."

Bright welcomed the opportunity to work in his home state with Regent's actors-in-training. "When you assemble a dedicated and talented team of theatre artists and they're given the resources, a clear vision and support, remarkable outcomes are possible," he said. "It is evident the talents, professionalism, passion and collaborative spirit are alive and well at Regent."

Several cast members will be performing their MFA thesis roles in the production: Adam Hamilton as Antipholus of Syracuse; Justin Winters as Dromio of Ephesus; Lauren McDonald as Luciana; and Will Burby as Dromio of Syracuse.

Bright was drawn to the play's approach to the shared human condition. "The Comedy of Errors has a history of being regarded as an improbable farce, a silly romp often staged in a way that makes fun of human behavior," he noted. "I was more interested in having fun with human behavior, exploiting Shakespeare's genius of laying bare the full range of human experience."

The play's hilarity expands well beyond jokes and gags, Bright explained. "It's a way of looking at the world's shortcomings from a kinder, gentler perspective; comedy invites us to approach various hardships and heartaches with a lighter touch, affording us the chance to relate to one another with a bit more compassion and understanding.

"That said, there are many wonderful (and shameless) gags in our production that we reckon would make fans of Warner Bros. cartoons, the Marx Brothers and Duck Dynasty very happy," he added. "The look and feel of this production is as color- and flavorful as a piping hot skillet of spicy jambalaya."

Purchase tickets at the Box Office.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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