Fall Play Preview: Servant of Two Masters Expected to be a Hit

Lily Reavis, Editor-in-Chief

“I don’t know what to do here,” shouts Hayley Hamblin (12). “Wendy wanted us to go for a kiss… and I don’t want to kiss him.” Blunt, but Thomas Hudson’s (12) feelings weren’t going to be hurt. Hamblin was more concerned with stage direction than the kiss.

Hamblin and Hudson play Clarice and Silvio in the upcoming production of “Servant of Two Masters,” written by Carlo Goldoni.

Clarice is the daughter of Pantalone, a greedy old man played by Luke Ganger (12). Pantalone promises Clarice to Federigo, whom she disliked. He was pronounced dead, and at the beginning of the play, Clarice is expected to marry her true love, Silvio. Morgan Baker (12) plays Truffaldino, the servant and namesake of the play.

“It is a very traditional Commedia script,” says Wendy Harms, high school drama teacher and director of the play. Commedia, short for Commedia dell’arte, is a style of theatre that was created in 16th century Italy and is characterized by masked characters. It revolutionized the general characters for most works of theatre, such as the star-crossed lovers and the character driven by hunger.

This is a more difficult character, as Truffaldino constantly has high energy. Harms said that there are a few scenes in which Baker feels he needs water, as he is running back and forth on the stage.

Bakers’s character is the servant. He is comically controlled by his hunger, and it gets him is some trouble after deciding to serve two masters, and receive two dinners each night. The character presents Baker with some issues, as it is a very high-energy character all the time. In a few scenes, Baker feels as though he needs to take a water break due to all the running he has to do.

Hamblin has never been in a production before and the challenge for her, says Wendy Harms, is the sheer physical demands of her character. She is a very dramatic, over-the-top character who spends much of her time sobbing on the ground.

Valerie Karr (12) plays Beatrice, and spends most of the play in drag, disguised as her brother, Frederigo. Although she is not as new to theatre as Hamblin is, she has not had much experience with the more physical side of acting. “Do you play any sports?” asked Krista McCann, assistant director of the play, while trying to teach Karr how to act out a sword fight. “Well,” answered Karr, “We don’t usually use swords in roller derby.”

The cast of the play is greatly comprised of both experienced and unexperienced actors. Like Hamblin, Ganger and Hudson have not have not had much experience. Samantha Bishop (12) and Ben Cross (12), however, have been in nearly every Manitou theatre production since sixth grade.

Harms, who directed the same play ten years ago, doesn’t think that Manitou has adapted much from the original script. “The only thing we’re really doing differently this year is that the costuming is more steampunk,” she says.

Debra Brewster has come out of retirement to help with the production of this play. She has designed and created the entire set, which features a life-sized fountain and multiple levels.

The play will take place at the district auditorium on November 6 and 7 at 7 p.m., and November 8 at 3 p.m. for the Sunday Matinee.