The Theatre Arts Program Brings Shakespeare to the Little Theatre Stage

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By Ariana Colasuonno

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts Program will be bringing William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” to the Little Theatre stage starting on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.

Directed by John Flaherty, “Comedy of Errors” is about a family who has been separated for 25 years, and a merchant’s son who is on a quest to find his long lost twin. By a twist of fate, the two brothers end up in the same town and are constantly mistaken for each other—which is where the title “Comedy of Errors” comes from.

“Our director is hilarious, the way he connects Shakespeare to the real world has us in stitches,” said junior cast member Steve Musitano. “He has a way about him that just flows and makes it easy to understand.”

By the end of the show, the characters realizes how everything was a big misunderstanding and it all ties together.

“What I like most about the show is the message behind it: your family will do anything for you,” said junior cast member and assistant producer of the production Kevin Carlson.

Similar to how Flaherty’s production of “The Tempest” was set in the 1920s, this production of “Comedy of Errors” will also have a modern take on the story.

“What I like most is the fact that it is set in the 1990s and we are using a more modern twist to tell the story,” said senior cast member Patrick Robinson. “I believe that Shakespeare will be easier to understand when it is up close and personal and hopefully it will be a fun experience for the audience.”

Since the show is full of comedy, slapstick and mistaken identity, cast and crew members said the audience should expect to laugh throughout the course of the play.

“The audience should expect a lot of laughter and a surprising, stylistic twist on a normally classic Shakespeare show,” said sophomore cast member Grace Falvey.

For some members of the cast, extra focus and research of Shakespeare’s style were necessary for the development of their characters.

“One of the biggest challenges I faced was learning Shakespeare. It’s a different world. How they talk, act, dress—it’s all new to me,” said Musitano. “This is my first play with SHU, so it’s been a little tough getting my character right.”

This is the first Shakespeare production that the Theatre Arts Program has put up in the Little Theatre. With 15 cast members involved, the cast and crew had to figure out how to make the smaller space work.

“I think performing with such a big cast in the Little Theatre is a challenge. There are a couple of scenes where everyone is on stage at the same time, so maneuvering during those scenes can be tough,” said Falvey. “However, I think it’s a great place to perform this kind of Shakespeare show. With the intimate setting, the audience is able to draw into the story quickly and feel like they are a part of the action in Syracuse.”

As the rehearsal process comes to a close, the cast and crew found their “Comedy of Errors” experience  to be one they’d never forget.

“I love working with everyone on this cast, from the crew to the actors. Everyone connects and we have a great time,” said Musitano. “The experience has been amazing.”

“Comedy of Errors” opens on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. in the Little Theatre. Additional performances will be held Sept. 29 through Oct. 1 and Oct. 12 through Oct. 15. Thursday, Friday and Saturday night showings begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinées are at 3 p.m.

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