"The Comedy of Errors" takes Shakespeare Festival to the Wild West

Students actors Andrew Steward and Charlie Wilburn in William Shakespeare's
Students actors Andrew Steward and Charlie Wilburn in William Shakespeare's "The Comedy of Errors." Photo by Amanda Pitts.
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The Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival, the oldest in Michigan, provides events and activities throughout the fall that are available and affordable to people of all ages.

The festival’s mainstage production this year, “The Comedy of Errors,” is one of William Shakespeare’s earliest and most frequently performed plays. In the story, two sets of identical twins, separated at birth, miraculously find themselves years later in the same town in the Wild West, setting off a hysterical adventure of mistaken identity.

“The Comedy of Errors” will have multiple performances throughout September and October:

Public Performances
September 26, October 2, 3, and 4, at 7:30 p.m.
Louis Armstrong Theatre, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus

Tickets, $14 general admission; $12 alumni, faculty, staff and seniors; and $6 students, are available at the Grand Valley Louis Armstrong Theatre box office, or by calling (616) 331-2300. For more ticket information, visit www.gvsu.edu/theatre.

“’The Comedy of Errors’ is one of Shakespeare’s craziest comedies and I think the one out of all of Shakespeare’s plays that provides the most opportunity for broad comedy and slapstick,” said Paul Riopelle, an actor from the Actors Equity Association and one of five guest artists working with Grand Valley students, faculty and community actors. “Even if the audience doesn’t understand an occasional Shakespearean word or phrase, it’s still going to be absolutely clear what’s going on.”

Roger Ellis, “The Comedy of Errors” director, said the unique partnership between students, faculty, community actors and professional actors enables students to interact with working union actors in order to learn about professional work ethic, preparation techniques, and rehearsal and performance methods. “The Comedy of Errors” cast and crew will also be touring area schools to perform for approximately 1,500 students during special matinee performances.

“I am always so amazed and recharged by the enthusiasm and talent of the student actors here,” said Riopelle. “When I return to Grand Valley, I am always reminded of the energy and passion that theater brings, not only to an audience, but to the artists creating the show.”

Additional “The Comedy of Errors” Festival Events

Pre-show Discussion
Features Production Dramaturg and Grand Valley English professor Jo Miller.
September 26 and October 4 at 6:45 p.m.
Van Solkema Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus

Opening Night Reception

Pere Marquette room, Kirkhof Center, Allendale Campus
There will be a free, public reception following the opening night performance of “The Comedy of Errors.” The reception will include a cash bar and is free and open to the public with presentation of a ticket from the opening night performance.

For more information and a complete schedule of Grand Valley Shakespeare Festival events, visit www.gvsu.edu/shakes.