Long-lost family, local touches and Shakespeare combine in a local youth production of “The Comedy of Errors” about the confusion that ensues when twins try to find each other.
As a Kodiak Arts Council Sum’Arts program, the production came together in just 30 hours of rehearsals over the past three weeks.
“I’m really crazy and jealous, and I don’t like how my husband spends a lot of time with his friends instead of me,” said Lacey Nugent, 13, about her character, Adrianna, the wife of twin Antipholus. “It’s kind of fun getting to be someone else for a little bit.”
Acacia Birbilas, 13, plays one of the lead roles, Antipholus, a twin who becomes more and more insane as time goes on.
“I’ve only ever had really small roles, so this is the first time I’ve had a big role,” Birbilas said.
Her favorite scene involves speaking out against a courtesan.
“I get to call her Satan. It’s just fun,” Birbilas said.
Kahryn Buchanan, 14, plays merchant Egeon, who is arrested for illegally entering the city of Ephesus.
“I’m a very melodramatic character, I’m crazy. Everyone in this play is pretty nuts,” Buchanan said. “I like it because I’m really good at playing that kind of character, and I have a lot of experience doing that, so it’s fun for me to play that kind of character.”
Last minute, Buchanan had to learn the lines for a second part.
“I like the challenge, but it’s stressful,” Buchanan said. “It’s an interesting thing to do, and I’ve never done it before.”
Despite the Mediterranean locales, the play has a lot of familiar places. The inn is the Kodiak Inn and the restaurant is the Powerhouse. Signs show the names of other local places, Harborside Fly-By and Java Flats, and boat names are changed to the Tustumena and Kennicott. The twins in the play wear shirts made by a local company.
“The house has a name, the Porcupine, but we changed it to the Alutiiq word for house which is ciqlluaq,” said director Michelle Leisure. “We changed those to add that familiarity to it.”
“The Comedy of Errors” was chosen because Leisure wished to do a Shakespeare play in honor of the 400th anniversary of his death, and “The Comedy of Errors” was playful with limited romantic scenes.
In addition to the Kodiak modifications, Leisure modernized the language and made some edits to ensure it was appropriate for a youth production.
“Nothing too drastic from how it was it originally done,” Leisure said.
The performance is at 12:30 Saturday in the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium drama pod. Admission is free. The play is about two hours long with an intermission.
Contact staff reporter Julie Herrmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.