Shakespeare In The Park Presents THE COMEDY OF ERRORS At Peck Pavilion
Milwaukee's Free Shakespeare in the Park (SITP) celebrates their milestone 10th season with its 2019 production of "The Comedy of Errors."
At the forefront are relatively new Milwaukee theatre actors Connor Blankenship, Thorin Ketelsen, Cole Conrad and Rebekah Farr who will star as the two pairs of separated twins in the slapstick farce co-directed by M.L. Cogar and Ron Scot Fry. SITP will mount performances on three weekends: June 27-30, July 5-7 and 11-13, with weekday matinees on July 2 and 9 and an open-to-the-public preview on June 26. Optimist Theatre, producer of SITP, is also delighted to return to the Peck Pavilion at the Marcus Performing Arts Center for a third season as part of the LIVE @ Peck Pavilion performance calendar.
Cogar explains, "True to its reputation, "Comedy of Errors" is a perfectly silly play. It's also a deceptively deep dive into how we build our identities of the most essential, unchangeable parts of who we are. It's about the things we choose to make true or to believe of ourselves and of the ways that those around us alternately understand or grossly misinterpret us. In other words, it's surprisingly contemporary and ultimately timely. Most of all, I think we could all use a good laugh right about now, and Shakespeare gives us that gift in spades here."
The cast of "The Comedy of Errors" includes stage veterans Jim Pickering* (a founding company member), Robert Spencer*, and Tami Workentin* in a wide variety of roles.
- Libby Amato - Luciana
- Randall Anderson - Angelo the Goldsmith
- Connor Blankenship - Antipholus of Ephesus
- Cole Conrad - Dromio of Ephesus
- Rebekah Farr - Dromio of Syracusa
- Tosha Freeman - The Jailer and Ensemble
- Ian Hathway - Second Merchant and Ensemble
- Mary Kababik - Aemilia the Abbess
- Thorin Ketelsen - Antipholus of Syracusa
- Katherine Norman - Adriana
- James Pickering* - Egeon and Balthazar
- Nate Press - Messenger and Ensemble
- Izaiah Ramirez - Officer and Ensemble
- Robert Spencer* - Duke Solinus, Dr. Pinch, and Nell the Kitchen Wench
- Tami Workentin* - Courtesan and First Merchant
In addition to directing, Cogar serves as SITP Dramaturg. Veronica Zahn* is the Production Stage Manager and Vocal Coaching is by Associate Artistic Director Tom Reed
*Member, Actors' Equity Association
The Peck Pavilion, located downtown on the corner of Kilbourn Avenue and North Water Street on the Downtown Riverwalk, is the only outdoor performance space in Milwaukee that was designed specifically for spoken word theater. Audiences for SITP at the Peck have enthusiastically received the venue with its built-in, covered seating, and handicapped accessibility.
"The Marcus Center is thrilled to be partnering with Optimist Theater," said Paul Mathews, Marcus Center President and CEO. "Including their performances on our free LIVE @ Peck Pavilion season, sponsored once again by the Molitor Charitable Trust, helps us to continue broadening our reach into the community and allows us to help Optimist make Shakespeare accessible to everyone."
One of Shakespeare's early plays, "The Comedy of Errors" is also the shortest. It's filled with puns, mistaken identity and fast-paced farce. Unfolding over just 24 hours, order is overthrown when two pairs of twins, separated as infants, find their paths crossing to their own confusion and that of everyone they encounter. A series of mishaps ensue, including arrest, beating, a near-seduction and accusations of theft, madness and infidelity, until the truth at last untangles the misunderstandings.
The play has been adapted in operatic, musical and film formats, finding particular popularity in the Indian cinema, where it's formed the basis for at least eight movies.