Originally Published: June 10, 2018 7:23 a.m.
The Prescott Center for the Arts is putting on William Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors” as its final show of the season, directed by Melanie Snyder.
Usually, the season ends a little earlier, but since summer Shakespeare is popular, the idea was to test the waters and see how people respond with one final show a little later than usual, Snyder said. With “Comedy of Errors” being a very silly comedy, viewers won’t have to think too much, she said.
“It’s written as a farce and it’s just a ridiculous situation,” Snyder said. “It’s not meant to be life chaning, it is just pure brain candy entertainment.”
Originally, Snyder said she wanted to use construction scaffolding and have the actors hanging over it in their colorful costumes and throwing props down into the action. Instead though, there will be platforms with scaffolding over it and the concept of having all the actors on stage the whole time will still happen.
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, June 14 to 16, and Thursday through Saturday, June 21 to 23, and 2 p.m. Sunday, June 17; Saturday, June 23, and Sunday, June 24.
Tickets are $22 for adults and $17 for youth for 7:30 p.m. showings and $18 for adults and $14 for youth for 2 p.m. showings and are available online at www.pca-az.net.
Set in 17th century Turkey, the show is colorful and silly, Snyder said, adding she’s embracing the farce but not turning it into a circus.
“I’m trying to direct it true farce, which is not like ‘(The) Three Stooges.’ It’s funny but it’s more like commedia dell’arte,” she said. “The actors are totally committed to their emotions … when they are upset, they’re really upset, but we laugh because it’s funny the way they get upset or the situation is so ludicrous.”
While the common perception surrounding Shakespeare is that it’s not easily understood, Snyder said it won’t be hard to understand this play. She and the actors have worked very hard to make sure audiences understand what’s going on through action and the actors being intentional with what they’re doing.
In a modern play with no dialogue, an audience can tell if characters are in love, fighting or have known each other a long time through their actions, Snyder said.
“We take that for granted because there’s no dialogue to tell us,” she said. “Because Shakespeare is wordy and it’s ancient language for the most part, people get intimidated. If the actors are committed and it’s well directed, then you will understand it.”
For more information about “Comedy of Errors,” visit www.pca-az.net.
By Jason Wheeler, follow him on Twitter @PrescottWheels, reach him at 928-445-3333 ext. 2037