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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE students present nontraditional Shakespeare


By Gerrit Goodwin/ campus news editor

Coy Rubalcaba and LeeAnn Ducker perform in The Comedy of Errors on NE..Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
Coy Rubalcaba and LeeAnn Ducker perform in The Comedy of Errors on NE..
Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

Rubber snake swords, a camel puppet and a dance number are just some of the ways NE Campus has given new life to its rendition of Shakespeare’s farcical play The Comedy of Errors.

The play tells the story of two sets of identical twins accidentally separated at birth and their fateful, and comical, reunification.

NE student Darby Villano, the department stage manager doing her second Shakespeare production is responsible for all of the moving parts behind the scenes.

“For this one, we are based in 1940s Morocco, and our theme is derived from the Bing Crosby and Bob Hope film Road to Morocco,” she said. “It’s very slapstick, there’s a lot of humor, and we incorporate a lot of the 1940s Technicolor and goofiness that comes from the film.”

Villano said the rehearsal process has been fun, sporadic and at times nontraditional but that director Stephen Thomas helps to give the energy direction and focus.

The cast enjoys itself while rehearsing.
The cast enjoys itself while rehearsing.

“Instead of using the traditional curved Arabian swords, we’re using snakes, croquet mallets and badminton racquets,” she said. “We wanted to get away from the harsh lines of swords and broaden our spectrum.”

Villanos said having two sets of twins posed its own unique challenges when it came to casting, such as finding actors that were similarly tall and lanky or stout.

“We have them dressed in matching costumes with inverted colors so that the audience can easily distinguish the twins,” she said. “This Saturday, we are even taking the four of them to get similar haircuts.”

Despite the NE theater’s own additions, Villanos said much of the original script was left intact with some portions cut to save on time.

NE student Tom Miller, who plays several roles in the production such as the merchant Balthazar, said he enjoys doing comedy.

“Shakespeare is a completely different beast when it comes to theater, and taking a classic and putting it in a different timeline will give the audience something they enjoy but aren’t used to,” he said. “For example, at one point during the play, the cast is all on stage smoking a hookah. Personally, I enjoy doing comedy because you have that buildup of energy with the audience, which is real fun.”

Hayden Evans plays the twin Dromio of Syracuse and said that while it has been challenging, it’s also been fun going over Shakespeare’s text and performing his sense of humor.

“Even though it’s Shakespeare and takes some time for your ear to get used to, especially if you aren’t familiar with him, it will still be a lot of fun,” he said. “A lot of the physicality and a lot of the stuff we’re doing on stage match the language, so it shouldn’t be hard to understand or intimidating to the audience.”

Hayden Evans plays Dromio of Syracuse.
Hayden Evans plays Dromio of Syracuse.

The Comedy of Errors

March 2-5 7 p.m.

March 5 2 p.m.

NE Playhouse (NFAB 1205)

Admission is free for TCC students, faculty and staff,

$3 for non-TCC students and seniors and $6 for general public.

Box office: 817-515-6687

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