All-female production of ‘The Comedy of Errors’ brings sense of community

Maddie Wright

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  • All of the Actresses who performed on June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park take a bow for their audience after their performance. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, actress Corinne Wieben who played Dromio of Ephesus sits next to actress Molly McGuire who played Dromio of Syracuse during the play. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, actress Louise F. Thornton who played Egeon, a merchant of Syracuse and the father of the Antipholus twins grabs onto actress Kathy Leonard who played Emelia, an abbess of Ephesus and Egeon’s wife while other actresses in the background watch. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, several actresses gleam in confusion and shock when the Antipholus and Dromio twins reunite on stage. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, several actresses perform on stage during the play. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, actress Kate Austin-Groen who played Adriana, the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, actress Briana Sprecher-Kinneer who played Luciana, Adriana’s sister, actress Lela Smith who played a Courtesan, and actress Kathy Leonard who played Emelia all perform on stage during the play. (Rebecca Eisele|Collegian

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, actress Julie Kaye Wolf who played Antipholus of Syracuse stands in shock next to actress Molly McGuire who played Dromio while being gripped by actress Lela Smith who played a Courtesan during the play. (Rebecca Eisele|Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, actress Julie Kaye Wolf who played Antipholus of Syracuse grabs onto actress Molly McGuire who played Dromio of Syracuse , Antipholus to Syracuse’s servant, while actress Kate Austin-Groen who played Adriana, Antipholus of Ephesus’s wife gleams into the sky over the two. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

  • On June 9 during Shakespeare’s play, The Comedy of Errors, in Columbine Health Systems Park, actress Julie Kaye Wolf who played Antipholus of Syracuse grabs actress Corinne Wieben who played Dromio of Ephesus, Antipholus to Ephesus’s servant. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

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The local theater scene this June is marked by “The Comedy of Errors,” a comedy by William Shakespeare that follows the story of two sets of twins with lots of slapstick moments and puns

“(Performing Shakespeare) is a lot of fun,” said Bryn Frisini, who plays the character Angelo in the play. “It’s a lot easier to memorize, I think, than a regular play because you have the rhythm and the iambic pentameter and all that helps with that.”

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Actress Corinne Wieben, who plays Dromio of Ephesus, sits next to actress Molly McGuire, who plays Dromio of Syracuse during the play. (Rebecca Eisele| Collegian)

The production opened the first weekend of June and ends June 30, with every production at The Park at Columbine Health Systems. Is it produced by OpenStage Theatre and Company.

This play turns Shakespeare on its head with an entirely female cast as opposed to the traditional all-male casts of Shakespeare’s day. It was also directed by a woman, Denise Freestone, the co-founder of OpenStage Theatre.

“It’s been pretty awesome, it’s an all-female cast,” said Esther Goldman, who plays the character Nell. “I love (being in an all-female cast). It’s awesome, it’s a blast.”

The outdoor setting is another component of this show that sets it apart from a traditional theater production. Being outside subjects the audience and actors to the elements around, including birds, gnats and weather.

“It’s fun but there are definitely challenges like with traffic going by and just the sound in general but I think we do pretty well,” Frisini said.

The atmosphere also provides a sense of serenity and comfort in the summer evenings. The sun sets behind the audience and they feel the grass between their toes as they watch the show on stage. 

(The best part has been) just doing it in the park and doing it with all these lovely ladies. It’s been a comedy backstage, too, so that’s always a lot of fun.” Esther Goldman, cast member, “Comedy of Errors.”

“It makes it a unique setting,” Goldman said “It’s casual and yet it’s just a lot of fun.”

Some of the best aspects of this show were the sound effects. As it is a farce and slapstick, there were many comedic sound effects. But rather than have a soundboard out, all sounds were produced by a table of tools such as horns, clappers and rain noisemakers.

The show has an ‘80s feel through its costuming, with loud colors, puffy dresses, big hair, fingerless gloves and more.

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Actresses Julie Kaye Wolf, Lela Smith and Molly McGuire perform a scene from Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors.” (Rebecca Eisele|Collegian)

“The costumes are awesome so it’s been fun to get that aspect of it,” Frisini said. “The whole thing has been really fun.”

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The stage also exhibited jaw-dropping carpentry perfectly built for the park which provided a solid setting for the play. 

Performances like this one provide a strong sense of community for the audience and the cast. 

“(The best part has been) just doing it in the park and doing it with all these lovely ladies,” Goldman said. “It’s been a comedy backstage, too, so that’s always a lot of fun.”

“Comedy of Errors” will have performances on June 29 and June 30. Tickets can be purchased online: https://tickets.lctix.com/

The chemistry of the actors onstage provides an engaging experience for the audience and brings vibrancy to the show.

“We’re a pretty bonded cast, which is fun,” Frisini said. “It’s always nice when you get that.”

Maddie Wright can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com and on Twitter @MaddieRWright.