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Shakespeare & Company Opens THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS Tonight

Shakespeare & Company Opens THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS Tonight

The Servant of Two Masters gets a fresh take in the deft hands of director and long-time Company artist Jenna Ware. Her fast-paced and hilarious adaptation of this classic Commedia dell'arte farce by Carlo Goldoni features an adroit and energetic cast, some of whom are Berkshire natives, and who trained with S&Co. as adolescents and are now acting, directing and teaching for the Company. Servant offers up a hearty dose of madcap'd mayhem, music, sword fighting and massive amounts of fun for our audiences of all ages to enjoy! This family-friendly show runs on the 200-seat, tented outdoor Rose Footprint Theatre from tonight, June 25 - August 23. Press Opening is Friday, June 27 at 5:30pm. To RSVP or for interview opportunities contact Communications & Press Director Elizabeth Aspenlieder: aspenlieder@shakespeare.org. Read on for more on cast and director.

Resplendent with some of the wittiest knots and twists you'll ever see, The Servant of Two Masters is a comical blend of the Italian classic Commedia dell'arte and contemporary performance style. It tells the story of an outrageous and crafty servant, Truffaldino, a threadbare clown in mad search of food, money, and attention. In one implausible day, Truffaldino simultaneously ends up with two masters and two jobs - and what Truffaldino doesn't know is that his masters are star-crossed lovers, and one of them is only disguised as a man. But they aren't the only lovers in town as two impatient old parents attempt to plan a wedding between children that will bring the highest return on their investment. Truffaldino's predicament stirs up a ridiculous chain of events as he sets out to keep his double service concealed, find romance himself, and get some dinner.

"Early Commedia was street theater - improvisational theater," says Ware. "General scenarios or scene descriptions were written for stock characters: the greedy old man, the young ingénue, the romantic lover, the blustering fighter, the pompous lawyer or professor. Carlo Goldoni was one of the first to begin scripting the stories and writing lines for the actors to memorize - legend has it that some of the actors were not pleased. When I create adaptations for the Rose Footprint, I am trying to take scripted Commedia back to a more relaxed, a more free-wheeling street feel. The actors sing, run through fields, clash swords and play with the audience. This freedom allows the actors to bring life to the characters, to invite the audience into their story and to have fun with it!"

TICKETS AND DISCOUNTS FREE for students and $15 for adults. For Tickets and information about the 2014 Performance Season or to request a brochure visit: www.shakespeare.org or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353, or visit us in person at 70 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA. Ticket prices range from $15 to $80. For group bookings, parties, and special event rental information and details contact David Joseph, Director of Sales & Group Tours, at (413) 637-1199 ext. 132 or groupsales@shakespeare.org. GIFT CARDS are on sale year round!

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