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San Marcos’ Student Actors Take On ‘The Comedy of Errors’

The high school's Shakespeare production will take center stage Nov. 13-15.

San Marcos High School actors Jonathon Ochi, left, Austin Hunt, Tad Murroughs and Gary Fields are among cast members for <i>The Comedy of Errors</i>, to be performed Nov. 13-15.” width=“540” height=“397” /><div class=San Marcos High School actors Jonathon Ochi, left, Austin Hunt, Tad Murroughs and Gary Fields are among cast members for The Comedy of Errors, to be performed Nov. 13-15.

San Marcos High School will present William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors in a traditional version of what many scholars claim is Shakespeare’s first play. Set in first-century Greece, The Comedy of Errors is a play about mistaken identity and the madcap antics of two sets of identical twins searching for their lost family.

Antipholus of Syracuse (Tad Murroughs) and his servant Dromio (Gary Fields) have been searching for their lost brothers separated nearly since birth. They land in Ephesus, where the law of the land proclaims certain death for anyone from Syracuse, so they assume the dress of the Ephesians to search the town for their brothers. Ephesus is rumored to be inhabited by sorcerers, witches and prating mountebanks and this keeps Antipholus and Dromio off balance as townspeople seem to recognize them around every corner.

Of course, their missing brothers Antipholus of Ephesus and Dromio of Ephesus, played by Austin Hunt and Jonathon Ochi, are members of the town who are unaware that their twin siblings are there, too. Naturally, the mistaken identity and errors of recognition as each brother’s servants meet the other’s masters adds to the farcical nature of the play as the plot becomes totally improbable and outrageous.

The play ends happily with a reunion of all the missing family members, but the adventure of getting to that point is the reason to see this show.

“The language of this play is very complicated and full of rhyming verse, which is not easy for actors to play or make their own,” director David Holmes said. “This cast of young actors, though, have mastered the language and are simply tremendous.”

The cast has been working on the production since August, and Holmes has used many exercises and techniques to get students to connect physically to the words of Shakespeare. In one exercise, Adriana, the wife of Antipholus of Ephesus, played by senior Joanna Lynn-Jacobs, had to kick a pillow all around the stage while saying her lines in order to physically feel the emotional quality of the language. It was fun to see, but more importantly it was fun to see how much this technique helped the actress.

The sets and lighting are designed by Theodore Michael Dolas, and the costumes are by Marian Azdril.

The Comedy of Errors plays for only three days, Nov. 13-15, at 7 p.m. Call 805.967.4581 for more information.

San Marcos High School produces one of Shakespeare’s plays every other year, and has done so since 1996. Past Shakespeare productions include Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Winters Tale.

Join us for this production of what may be Shakespeare’s funniest comedy.

David Holmes is director of the San Marcos High School production of The Comedy of Errors.

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