“Servant of Two Masters” brings classic Italian comedy to CBU theatre
Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2019) – “The Servant of Two Masters,” a Commedia dell'arte comedy, is coming to the Wallace Theatre at California Baptist University. The play opens Nov. 15.
The play, written by Carlo Goldoni, takes place in 17th century Venice, Italy, and revolves around a servant who wishes to double his wages by serving two different masters. Through a series of mistaken identities, misunderstandings and amusing foibles, the play unfolds into hysterical chaos and the audience is taken on a journey with a sweet tale and unexpected twists and turns.
Commedia dell'arte is a Renaissance-style Italian form of comedy, said Stephanie Parshall, adjunct professor of theatre and the show’s director. The comedy includes slapstick, tumbling and other antics.
“I hope the audience gets to enjoy a new style of comedy. A lot of our current sitcoms are based in this style of acting,” Parshall said. “I hope they get transported to Venice and get to see these fun, crazy characters and come away with smiles on their faces.”
Gavin Duran, a theatre and comedic arts sophomore who plays the servant, Truffaldino, said he learned a lot about portraying physical comedy rehearsing for his role.
“My character does so many physical, almost athletic things on stage, so I’d say the most challenging part for me has been delivering clear and understandable lines while performing these physical activities,” Duran said.
Sara Mitchell, a theatre senior, plays Smeraldina, a maidservant and love interest to Truffaldino.
“The most fun part was definitely developing the characteristics of Smeraldina. I loved the way she walked and her quirks and physical gestures that make her unique. I had such a wonderful time playing off my fellow actors,” Mitchell said.
Joy Bennett, a theatre sophomore, plays Beatrice, one the servant’s masters. She said just because the outrageous comedy is wacky does not mean it lacks technique.
“You really have to go out of your way to not have a good time,” Bennett said. “I hope the audience can shamelessly laugh, and see a little piece of themselves in the characters.”
“The Servant of Two Masters”
When: 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 15-16 and Nov. 21-23; 2 p.m. on Nov. 16 and 23
Where: Wallace Theatre, California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA, 92504
Tickets or questions? Call the theatre box office at 951-343-4319 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org