California Baptist University’s Theater Program is taking a hilarious twist in its next play, the Shakespearean “Comedy of Errors,” the story of two sets of identical twins separated at birth.
Set in the 1950s in an Atlantic City-like world, the play is infused with comedy and chaos through the use of mistaken identities and outrageous mishaps that will keep the audience laughing throughout the production.
The production runs Nov. 11-12 and 17-19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wallace Theatre, with showings at 2 p.m. on both Saturdays.
Caleb Leal, sophomore theater major, portrays Domino of Ephesus and has been working hard to perfect this play with his fellow cast members.
“We have been rehearsing since the second week of school,” Leal said. “A total of 13 and a half hours (during) rehearsal weeks.”
Leal said the show took a lot of preparation, especially because he had to learn how to copy the characteristics of his fellow actor while portraying twins in the play.
“This role has been quite the exciting and challenging ride,” Leal said. “It is quite the physical role as there is a lot of slapstick humor, so that was the first challenge. The second was the ridiculousness of the play that leads to crazy characterization that needed to happen, so we worked a lot with character work and comedic character work.”
The play is directed by Frank Mihelich, assistant professor of theater. This will be the second Shakespearean play at CBU this year, which is uncommon for the Theater Program.
“We try to do a Shakespeare on our main stage every four years,” Mihelich said. “We have found our audiences take to the comedies.”
Mihelich kept the integrity of Shakespeare’s writings for the play intact but also made the show more current. He also made sure to update the setting to fit a more modern-day model.
“We have modernized it so it’s very ‘Jersey Boys,’” Mihelich said. “The style we are trying to create is an onstage cartoon. Imagine if real people were doing ‘Looney Tunes.’ I have a background in Italian clown styles so we have been using a lot of that in rehearsals.”