The C.K. Rickel Theatre Opens Its Season With An Error of Comedy
[October, 2010] - Lake Erie College welcomes you to attend their main stage production, “An Error of Comedy,” an adaptation of Shakespearean comic scenes directed by guest director Lisa Warrington, professor of theater from the University of Otago, New Zealand. The show features scenes from plays such as Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Comedy of Errors, and Two Gentlemen of Verona.
Ms. Warrington has focused on selecting humorous scenes dealing with the funny side of love (immaturity and jealously, for example). To create a story from these scenes, Ms. Warrington begins with the rustic actors from the A Midsummer Night’s Dream followed by subsequent scenes as showing those rustics in rehearsal for a big play. That gives the student actors a chance to present scenes from many plays, including those mentioned above.
Ms. Warrington is well-known as one of New Zealand’s leading directors, and in this production, she brings her energy, attention to detail, and her unique ability to adapt Shakespeare for the enjoyment of contemporary audiences. She has directed many Shakespearean plays including A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. In New Zealand, her work has been recognized over many years as amongst the best, including numerous citations in New Zealand’s leading cultural magazine, The Listener. She has also published many articles on Shakespeare, focusing on productions of his plays in Australia and New Zealand. In addition to directing this play, Ms. Warrington is also spending time with students in the classroom and meeting with local theater artists.
The actors, Joseph Fath, Stephanie Kilper, Hilary Barnett, Michael Prince, Jessica Drake, and Richard Keay are Lake Erie College students. While all the students are excited to be working with a guest of such prestigious background, for Fath, a senior, this production has additional meaning, as his participation is one facet of his work toward completing his BFA in Theatre. He is researching some of the ways Shakespeare may have influenced writers like Samuel Becket and Eugene Ionesco, and he will be displaying information in the gallery prior to each performance. Fath will present his own BFA production in the spring semester.
This adaptation also includes some portions dear to Ms. Warrington’s love of Shakespeare. It includes parts from the rarely produced version of Hamlet known as the “Bad Quarto.” This includes a version of the famous “To be or not to be” speech in which many of the words and phrases are different and indeed shockingly so. For example, rather than say “That is the question” in the bad quarto Hamlet says, “To be or not to be, aye there’s the point.” A few years ago Ms. Warrington produced and directed a version of Hamlet based entirely on this bad quarto, and she is always enthusiastic about sharing it with audiences. Also, this performance will include the scenes from Two Gentleman of Verona where a servant speaks lovingly about his disobedient pet, affectionately referred to by Ms. Warrington as “a bit about a dog.”
This play is also part of the College’s lunchtime theatre performances. There will be two 30-minute versions presented on October 28 and 29 at noon, free to the public. The full version of “An Error of Comedy” runs one hour. Performance dates are October 29 and 30 at 7:30 p.m. and October 31 at 2 p.m. The October 29th performance will include a reception featuring Ms. Warrington followed by a brief symposium where she and the actors will discuss the work.
Tickets are free to all Lake Erie College students, staff and faculty; general admission is $5. The next lunchtime theater will be December 2 and 3 when students of the Advanced Italian class present “L’Uomo dal Fiore in Bocca” by Luigi Pirandello. For more information, please contact our box office at 440-375-7455.
Note: We welcome reviewers to attend either rehearsals or productions. All reviewers will be provided complimentary tickets. Please contact Dr. Jerry Jaffe for details at 440.375.7451.