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The Acting Company Showcasing Shakespeare’s Comedic Side in ‘Comedy of Errors’ at Hatfield Hall

February 16, 2012

Along with his tragic tales, William Shakespeare had a hidden comedic side, which talented young actors and actresses from The Acting Company will showcase in its' production of "Comedy of Errors" on Saturday, February 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology's Hatfield Hall Theater.

      Codemy Errors
Jason McDowell-Green and STephen Pilkington in The Acting Company/
Guthrie Theater production of The Comedy of Errors. Photo by Michal Daniel.
 

    THEATER PRODUCTION
"Comedy of Errors"
The Acting Company

Sunday, February 18 - 7:30 p.m.
Hatfield Hall Theater
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
5500 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute, IN

  Tickets: $$13 to $17 for adults reserved; $10 for college and high school 
  students.

  For tickets: Call 812-877-8544 or visit the Hatfield Hall ticket office 
  from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or noon to 5 p.m. on Satudays.

  For more information contact www.hatfieldhall.com.

Reserved tickets range from $13 to $17 for adults and are $10 for college and high school students.  Purchase tickets by calling the Hatfield Hall ticket office at 812-877-8544 or visiting the office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays or noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

"The Comedy of Errors," one of Shakespeare's earliest plays, is also his shortest and one of his most farcical -- a major part of the humor derived from slapstick, puns and wordplay.   The story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth involves a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities leading to wrongful attacks, a near-seduction, an arrest and accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession.

"This play best characterizes Shakespeare's fascination with mistaken identity.  He often employs disguises and gender flip-flops as one of many devices to craft his stories but in 'The Comedy of Errors' this technique is the spine of the play, the center where the characters, setting, and story originate," states director Ian Belknap of The Acting Company.  

Shakespeare sets all of the action in "Comedy of Errors" within one day and features a recurring theme across his work: blending tragic situations with comedic resolutions and introducing slapstick to wide appeal.

"Underneath every moment of hilarity in this play is a person yearning for something or someone.  In every instance where a character aches, Shakespeare concocts a game or comedic gag that eases the pain.  He blends tragic situations with comedic resolutions," added Belknap, associate artistic director of The Acting Company since 2009.  "Charlie Chaplin said of Shakespeare, '[His] Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.'"

The Acting Company was founded in 1972 by the legendary John Houseman and Margot Harley.   It has become one of the most respected and praised touring repertory theater companies in America, performing 135 productions touring to 48 states and 10 foreign countries.  It received a Tony Award Honor for Excellence in Theater for developing the best young American actors by giving them an opportunity to practice their craft in a repertory of classic plays and new works.  Founding company members included award-winning actor Kevin Kline (1972-77), an Indiana University and Juillard graduate, and Dakin Matthews (1972-73), whose television credits include appearances on "The West Wing", "Gilmore Girls", "The Practice", and "Star Trek: Voyager."

Current company cast members are Ernest Bentley, Caleb Carlson and Whitney Hudson, graduates of the University of Minnesota; Kaliswa Brewster, from Seattle; Ray Chapman, from Butte Creek, Mont.; Bjorn DuPaty, from Bradley University and Chicago; Zachary Fine, another Chicago native; Joseph Midyett, from Hayward, Calif.; Kevin Orton, a Julliard trained actor from St. Louis; Noah Putterman, a former U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts from Raleigh, N.C.; Sid Solomon, from Brooklyn, N.Y.; William Sturdivant, from North Carolina; and Kathleen Wise, a Cincinnati native who studied acting at New York University.

Find out more about The Acting Company at www.theactingcompany.org.  Details about upcoming Rose-Hulman Performing Arts Series shows can be found at www.hatfieldhall.com.