Sunday, September 03, 2006

What Else We Did Last Summer

The Flatwater Youth Production of The Comedy of Errors--The Female Version was staged at the Swan Theatre at Wyuka on the evenings of June 19, 20, and 21. Youth Director Tom Crew assembled and trained a charming cast, featuring Ellie Tasler and Petrea Whittier as the Antiphola twins, with Emily and Erica Johnson as the Dromia twins.

As the names of two actors indicate, we had the luxury of having real-life twin sisters playing two of the main roles, which required some ingenious costuming by Bonnie Whittier: most productions make use of the way that the twins are dressed to suggest how their identities could be confused, but we had to help audiences tell the girls apart.

As the names of the characters indicate, the play was adapted by Education Director Stephen Buhler so that the genders of all the roles were reversed. Ephesus was now ruled by a Duchess, played by Lindsay Masen; women were in charge of the thriving business scene both in that city and in Syracuse. A bereft mother, played by Kellie Bate, faced death for arriving at Ephesus while searching for her twin daughters and their twin servants. Reed Baillie played the husband of Antiphola of Ephesus, with Joshua Duncan as his brother -- who received what he saw as unseemly attention from the person he thought was his sister-in-law.

Mistaken identities and switched-around gender roles led to three entertaining evenings, enjoyed by good audiences. Thanks go to the entire ensemble, which also included Jordan Anderson, Alli Derr, Emma Gruhl, Shelby Krause, Samantha Lawhorne, Mimi Merliss, Kathryn Piper, Rishi Ragsdale, Desiree Rush, Dane Whittier, and Tristan Williams as an unforgettable Gigolo. Special thanks also go to all the parents who supported the production, to instructors Amy Jirsa and Sean Schmeits, and to our invaluable Stage Manager, Brooke Erks.

Our Youth Production of Romeo and Juliet is already in rehearsal and is scheduled for presentation at the Swan on October 2, 3, and 4. The genders won't be completely reversed -- but watch for a few more "rearrangements" and many more impressive performances by our young actors.

Flatwater Shakespeare Youth Company productions have been made possible through the support of the Nebraska Humanities Council, the Nebraska Arts Council, and the Lincoln Arts Council.

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