The once-empty stage, home to a lone rolling door, was cluttered with props and scenery. Mood lighting and screens faded out to reveal what looked like stone benches and columns framing the stage that were really nothing more than Styrofoam, painted expertly to fool the eye. In the background were shelves upon shelves of props and costumes.
The actors’ costumes were coming together in a flurry of plumes and petticoats. Marching about in their capes and finery, the actors’ characters began to take on a life of their own. Medieval music drifting from the stage was the perfect scene setter to begin their tale.
With opening night just over a week away, the cast for Comedy of Errors has started putting everything together for their performance. On stage, the scenes were set, and actors ready. Although they were close to the end, the pressure was on.
But with new elements, the players gained new strengths. “We’re getting tighter and tighter and pulling things together, and it’s flowing, and I feel like I personally know everyone else’s character a lot more. So it’s coming together and we need an audience,” actress Martie Muldoon said.
Not only were the outfits and scenery different, but the acting too. From choppy bits of scenes being repeated over and over, the play now fluidly moved from one scene to the next, bringing the audience of offstage actors along with the well-told story.
As the scenes changed, things did get a bit bumpy with the unfamiliarity of the new props, but they recovered well and kept the show going.
Even with some difficulties, they handled the mayhem of moving giant pieces of scenery and actors running across the stage well. What looked like chaos was in reality a painstakingly choreographed race of actors and props.
The story was captivating and full of hilarity. The variety of emotions and expressions that appeared so natural to them were really well thought out and practiced to achieve that level of expertise.
Actress Skylar Shock said, “I think probably the cast is learning to work more like as an ensemble versus just learning our lines. And now that we’re adding in like the actual costume pieces and set pieces it’s kind of turning it into an actual performance versus actors like playing around on stage.”
Although actors playing around on stage was fun in the beginning, everyone was looking forward to opening night. Nervousness was also expressed from the actors, but not enough to take away from the anticipation of performing what they have been working so hard on.
Once their costumes are finished and their performance polished, all they will really need is an audience. Sharing the story of confusions and mix-ups with an audience ready to laugh will make their hours of hard work all well worth it.
Actor Christian Tanton said, “I think it’s going to be an amazing show, and I’m really excited for what we can make with it.”
As the date of opening night approaches, the players continue to strive for their best. On the night of Nov. 14, they will sweep the audience up into the hilarious world of William Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.