Buy Tickets From the 2013-2014 Season: The Comedy of Errors Playing May 09, 2014 to June 01, 2014

$15 General Admission Preview Thurs May 8

Jaclyn Hofmann, Annie York Hester, Michael Tarver, Vinnie Mascola

Two sets of twins, one case of mistaken identity, and a nun walk onto the stage. No, it’s not the start of a joke, but it is hilarious! The Comedy of Errors takes Shakespearean funny to such slap-happy heights, you’ll be dizzy with laughter. This tale of the merchant twins Antipholus and the servant twins Dromio is full of errors, upsets, and fun.

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday May 18 after the show!


Read the Plot Synopsis

The Comedy of Errors Synopsis
From The Pocket Companion to Shakespeare by J C Trewin
Aegeon, a veteran merchant of Syracuse, is in distress in Ephesus, his town’s implacable enemy. Any Syracusian seen in Ephesus will be executed unless he can pay a ransom of a thousand marks. Aegeon’s goods, at the highest rate, cannot reach a hundred marks. Then why has he risked the penalty? He explains to the Duke (sympathetic, but unable to break the law), that long before, at Epidamnum, where he had gone on business, his wife had borne him twins. Strangely at that same hour and in the same inn, a peasant woman had given birth to indistinguishable twins who Aegeon had bought so that they could attend as slaves upon his sons. But on the way home their vessel was shipwrecked; he was separated from his wife, one of the twins and one of the peasant boys, and heard no more of them. When the other twins where eighteen they asked to go in search of their lost brothers. They did not return, and Aegeon, alone, had spent five years looking for them, coming at last to Ephesus and his apparent fate unless, at the day’s end, he could make up the ransom.
The second scene introduces the wanders who happen to have arrived, unknown to him, at the same time as Aegeon. Very soon, Antipholus and Dromio of Syracuse are involved in a furious sequence of misunderstandings and the false identifications with Antipholus and Dromio of Ephesus. (Oddly, four people but only two names.) Throughout the piece – which observes the unities of action, time and place – A is always being mistaken for B and C for D. Shakespeare keeps it up with fantastic ingenuity until when the plot seems impossible to disentangle, an abbess emerges from the priory in mid-Ephesus and reunites Aegeon and Aemilia. Within a short scene everything is more or less explained; and the Abbess invites the baffled Duke, “To go with us into the abbey here,/And hear at large discoursed all our fortunes.”


Director's Notes

Directed by Andrew Houchins

Show Information

Show Times
Shows at the New American Shakespeare Tavern begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
2
 
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (though please note that Shakespeare was a bawdy writer, you can’t escape it in any of his plays). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

We recommend this type of play to families, school-age kids, first-timers to Shakespeare, or anyone who just wants to do something fun on a night off. This type of play is perfect for large groups like birthday parties or special event gatherings.

How to prepare for seeing this kind of play: Just show up! You don’t need to know the play to follow along and enjoy.

Additional Information