SPSCC’s comedy course teaches how to act and perform in nonmusical onstage comedies, using stock characters. This quarter’s class is preparing to present “Servant of Two Masters,” directed by James A. Van Leishout.
The play is about a man who is made a servant to two people, Flourindo and Frederico Responi. As simple as it sounds, the plot gets quite convoluted, involving a murder, a fool and a glutton.
Throughout the show, there are many mistakes and double crossings, similar to the Shakespearean idea of a comedy, the comedy of the situation. The central basis of the humor is not in character development or jokes, but in situational or ironic twists.
This form of play is called “Commedia Dell’Arte,” an old Italian style of play dating back to the 16th century. It uses established characters, each with a distinct personality that is the same across the many plays, though many were written by different playwrights.
“I plan to find how to deliver comedic relief,” said Granville Stidham, who plays the slightly flamboyant lover Flourindo.
“I’ve done six years of theater with a program downtown, “Kid’s at Play,” and over those years, I gained a healthy respect for acting,” he said, “However, all those were musicals and involved singing, and I wanted to know if it was my acting that got me parts or if it was my singing. So, I signed up.”
Showtimes are 8 p.m. Nov. 15, 16 and 21-24, and 2 p.m. Nov 17 and 25 at the box office in the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.