Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’ presented at Ripon College March 4 through 7

William Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors” will be performed March 4 through 7 by the Ripon College Department of Theatre. Performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Benstead Theatre, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended by calling 920-748-8791 or sending an email to [email protected].

“The Comedy of Errors” is a madcap romp involving two sets of twins, two a merchant’s sons and two brought up as servants. After a shipwreck, the twins were separated with one of each pair coming to the city of Syracuse and the other pair floating away to parts unknown.

The brothers are searching for each other and the father is searching for all of them. The father has only one day to complete his quest or be put to death for crossing the border into the city of Ephesus for his search.

The play continues in a series of mistaken identities and errors building to fights, imprisonment and even an exorcism.

Director Ken Hill says the play is a very early Shakespearean play based on a well-known play by the ancient Roman playwright Plautus. “Shakespeare never met a plot he couldn’t steal and improve,” Hill says. “Where his later plays sprawl across locations and cover long periods of time, ‘The Comedy of Errors’ is a compact classical farce set in one location with all the action happening in one day, much as Plautus’ play was structured.”

He adds, “Shakespeare examines family bonds that make us cross borders, and face dangers to reconnect with loved ones. Shakespeare examines identity and sanity. What happens when we are treated completely different by those around us? Shakespeare examines love, both brotherly and romantic. But in all these examinations, he still finds time to make us laugh at ourselves and the crazy world around us.”

Members of the cast include DeShawn Thomas ’20 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Duke Solinus; Benjamin Marn ’22 of Ripon, Wisconsin, as Aegeon; Logan Zeinert ’22 of Wittenberg, Wisconsin, as First Merchant; Race Rohde ’20 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Antipholus of Syracuse; Madeleine Craig ’20 of West Bend, Wisconsin, as Dromio of Syracuse; Bailey Jerrick ’20 of Stoughton, Wisconsin, as Dromio of Ephesus; Mackenzie Swart ’20 of Brookfield, Wisconsin, as Adriana; Heidi DeCaluwe ’20 of West Bend, Wisconsin, as Luciana; Wil Bridenhagen ’21 of Neenah, Wisconsin, as Antipholus of Ephesus; Billy Stiggers ’22 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as Angelo; Nick Tonn ’21 of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, as Balthazar; Katelyn Dano ’22 of Hubertus, Wisconsin, as Luce; Ryan Krogsgaard ’20 of Louisville, Texas, as Second Merchant; Christian Schmidt ’23 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, as Officer; Mattie Ryback ’22 of New Berlin, Wisconsin, as Courtesan; Devon Giesler ’22 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, as Doctor Pinch; Abbe Lane ’22 of Neenah, Wisconsin, as Abbess Amelia; and Alaura Lemieux ’20 of Luck, Wisconsin, as Servant.

Members of the crew are Kenneth Hill, professor of theatre and the Doreen L. ’73 and David I. Chemerow Chair in Theatre, director; John Dalziel, associate professor of theatre, set and lighting designer; Susan McDaniel Hill, visiting professor of theatre, costume designer; Maria Reber ’21 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, assistant director; Lindsey Wigand ’22 of West Allis, Wisconsin, stage manager; Kai Liptow ’23 of Ripon, Wisconsin, Taylor Mehling ’23 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, Alli Slowiak ’22 of Kiel, Wisconsin, assistant stage managers; Dakota Marlega ’21 of Waupaca, Wisconsin, lighting board operator; Brooklyn Hogan ’22 of Barneveld, Wisconsin, sound board operator; Anjelika Dombrowski ’23 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Faith Nielsen ’23 of Kingman, Arizona, Maythe A. Salcedo ’23 of Round Lake Beach, Illinois, Emma Sagartz ’23 of Chicago, Illinois, and Rebecca Steinkamp ’23 of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, costume crew; Parker Cox ’21 of Clayton, Wisconsin, set crew; and Miranda Ratayczak ’23 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, props.

This production is entered into the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF). This program identifies and promotes quality in college-level theater productions. KCACTF also awards scholarships, internships, grants and awards for the actors, directors, playwrights and other personnel involved.

(Photo, left to right: Bailey Jerrick, Mackenzie Swart, Race Rohde and Madeleine Craig)

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