‘The Comedy of Errors’ provides a humorous experience during finals


Michael Pepper

The Cosumnes River College theatre department ‘s presentation of “The Comedy of Errors” opened Thursday. The two professors played by Steven Bails on the left and Cassian Cardona on the right came out to interrupt the narrative with historical analysis.

The theatre department’s production of William Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” directed by Scott Gilbert opened Thursday.
The tale centers around two sets of twins being mistaken for their brothers as the children from Syracuse are in Ephesus searching for their lost family. The play focuses on the story of a father named Egeon, his twin sons Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus and the families twin slaves Dromio of Syracuse and Dromio of Ephesus.
The sets are spartan yet inventive as the show used opaque cloth in set walls and as columns in the center of the stage. These were both aesthetically pleasing and provided functional use to multiple aspects of the production.
The editing of the script as well as the stage directions were skillfully done using forced perspective through built in set elevation.
Both the actors and lighting crew used the cloth wall partitions of the set to great effect during the performance.
A notable use of cloth in setpieces was with the trees in the set’s background. While the function of the tied cloth towards the rear of the stage wasn’t immediately clear during the pre-show, once the play began the green accent lighting revealed the cloth’s purpose.
The costumes added to the immersion, with the show being ambiguous about what historical period the play is set in and the program listing it only as “the olden days.” They were all well made and the actors did a masterful job of using them to add to the entertainment.
The self referential nature of the play and immersive performances drove the plot quickly, and the ensemble’s comedy chops were on full display.
The play also made great use of music and the actors’ voices as they filled the theater and were generally pleasant with the one exception being used for comedic effect.
The lighting and sound design was exceptionally well done. The techs in the booth did a seamless job throughout the performance.
Right from the start the performance was notable, beginning with the narrator’s opening monologue, the actors’ expert use of body language and facial expressions throughout the play were huge drivers of the physical comedy.
The performance of Duke Orsino was a textbook example of someone playing the straight man role very well. His transition to the role of the doctor allowed him to exercise his considerable comedic abilities, albeit far too briefly.
Dromio of Ephesus’s performance stood out due to their wonderful singing and choreography performance, as well as their marvelous use of tone, body language and facial expression that drew the audience into their performance.
The only way to describe the performance of the actress playing Adriana is powerful. Her dramatic scenes were engrossing, and when she sang it was splendid.
It needs to be restated that the whole cast and crew did splendid jobs and the production as the whole was excellent.
The play was billed as a comedy and on that it delivered, but it also had superb elements of musical theater and drama interspersed.
If you’re looking for a couple of hours of entertainment or a lively and boisterous distraction during finals you can find showtimes and buy tickets here.