By Sydney Berk, Catawba College News Service
Catawba College invites you to discover one of William Shakespeare's most hilarious comedies. Follow the antics of one of theater's most loved fools, Falstaff, as he is tricked by two witty wives. (It's a comedy and time to get even.) Performed April 5 and 6 at 6:55 p.m. and April 7, 8 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Hedrick Little Theatre on campus, it is a production you don't want to miss.
Directed by Professor Dayna Anderson, "The Merry Wives of Windsor" tells the story of a fat knight who has plans to seduce two lovely ladies in order to get close to their husband's very deep pockets. Little does he know, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford are quick-witted women who swiftly devise a plan of their own to teach Falstaff a lesson. This rib-tickling classic is peppered with jealous husbands, feuding couples, love triangles and (of course) a Welshman, Frenchman, 19 women and 1 man. What are the odds?
Director Anderson suggests that right now, everyone needs a little comedy in our lives. She says, "The world is coming apart at the seams--an increasingly insane jumble of political over-reaction and lethal consequence. How perfect to present a merry play, abundant with humor, where there is room for magic, fantasy, and jolly treatment of serious ideas?"
Set in Elizabethan England, this was Shakespeare's only play meant to be produced and performed in his own time. Having penned 38 plays and 154 sonnets, Shakespeare's works are constantly being rediscovered and adapted. This piece is truly one of his hidden treasures, perfect for old lovers of the language as well as new Shakespeare audiences.
"The Merry Wives" acting company is made up of Aaron Alderman of Durham, proud to represent his kind as Falstaff, and 19 fabulous ladies including Bailey Buckner of John's Island, S.C.; Jamie Caputo of Greensboro; Jodye Carroll of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Carrie Foster of Baltimore, Md.; Bristol Glass of Concord; Katie Haeuser of Robert, La., Carrie Harris of Asheville; Katie Hopkins of Albemarle; Katie Johnson of Myersville, Md.; Yolanda McClure of Eden; Mary Alice Nichols of Conyers, Ga.; Annabelle Prince of Charlotte; Kara Procell of Bel Air, Md.; Collette Riddle of Roanoke, Va.; Donna Steele of Charlotte; Katherine Tierney of Smyrna, Ga.; Robin Tynes of Black Mountain; and Mackenzie Westbrook of Charlotte.
In addition to Director Anderson, the artistic staff consists of Professor David Pulliam, set designer; Zach McRae of Hendersonville, assistant set designer; Claire Robinson of Houston, Texas, costume designer; Vaughn Pollman of Overland Park, Kansas, lighting designer; Brooke Beall of Raleigh, assistant lighting designer; Professor Christopher D. Zink, technical director; Sean Henderson of Concord, assistant technical director; Jeffrey Salerno of Lake Mary, Fla., sound designer/engineer; Chelsey Lowery of Pembroke, makeup designer; Danielle Smith of Charlotte, makeup designer; Robin Tynes of Black Mountain, company dramaturg; Mary Alice Nichols of Conyers, Ga., period movement and combat consultant; Jodye Carroll, movement captain; and Mackenzie Westbrook of Charlotte as combat consultant.
The play's production staff includes Dustin J. Sullivan of Monroe, stage manager; Katie Johnson of Myersville, Md. and Mackenzie Westbrook of Charlotte, assistant stage managers; Cassie Bell of Leonardtown, Md., properties manager; Jered Shultz of Sevierville, Tenn., charge scenic artist; Jake Krug of Concord, master carpenter; Quinn McRae of Hendersonville, master electrician; Tatianna Long of Kodiak, Alaska, first hand; Katie Higgins of Durham, front of house; Sydney Berk of Encino, Calif., publicity; Ka'Shara Davis of Charlotte, sound board operator; Kat Campagna of Watertown, Conn., light board operator; Sydney Carpenter of Mooresville and Ryan Kelley of High Point, wardrobe; and Brianna Gallagher of Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., Ashley Jackson of University Place, Washington, and Katie Marlowe of Newton, dressers.
Following the Friday, April 8, performance, audience members are invited to a reception in Peeler Crystal Lounge honoring the college's Elizabethan Scholar, Dr. Bethany Sinnott. Dr. Sinnott will retire from Catawba at the end of this academic year after almost 42 years of service to the institution.
Tickets for Catawba College's production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and non-Catawba students. Group discounts are available. For more details, contact the Catawba College Theatre Box Office at (704) 637-4481, or buy tickets online at www.showtix4u.com.
PHOTOS: "The Merry Wives of Windsor" Theatre Production