The Comedy of Errors
THE COMEDY OF ERRORS is an early piece by Shakespeare based on the ancient Roman comedy, THE MENAECHME by Plautus. It follows the story of two sets of twin boys and their parents who were separated from each other in a shipwreck at sea and rescued by fishermen from different cities. As the play opens, the father of the twins has arrived in a distant port, after searching the globe for most of his life hoping to find his wife and his lost children. However, upon his arrival, because of a mistaken identity, he is arrested. The duke of this town gives the old man one day to either find his sons and prove the validity of his story or be executed.
But the problems don’t stop there. One set of twins arrive at the town without knowing the other set of twins has made their home there after the shipwreck. Soon everyone is mistaking one twin for the other. To make matters worse, the city is a very confusing place where citizens dress in disguises and party in the street. This production is set in the 1980s in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Unlike some of Shakespeare’s later comedies, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS is a full-fledged farce with a great deal of slapstick humor. But behind all the knockabout, Shakespeare still examines the human condition. This production is focused on the concept that the characters are all searching for something outside themselves to complete their lives, when what they really need is right in front of them all along. However, they are too caught up in themselves to see it, and time is running out! As this zany, madcap tale races to its hilarious conclusion, it is the presence of the Church that clears away the confusion and reunites everyone.