The Servant of Two Masters’ opens Friday

The Simpson College Theatre Department is debuting its newest production, “The Servant of Two Masters,” Friday night in Pote Theatre. The production will run through Sunday afternoon.

The 18th-century Italian play, written by Carlo Goldoni, tells the story of a simple servant trying to make an extra buck by serving two masters. Unbeknownst to the servant, one master is actually a woman disguised as a man. She has come to Venice in search of her lover Florindo, the servant’s other master.

Freshman Lindsey Oetken plays the role of the “love interest” in the play. Oetken is no rookie at acting. She participated in every play in high school and performed in “Camelot” in her local community theatre. Oetken got her first taste of Simpson theater last fall, performing in the department’s production of “Necessary Targets.”

Oetken is also a theater major, as well as a scholarship student, which requires more time outside of class and rehearsal.

“Theater takes up a lot of my time. I probably have about three hours of practicing to do on a good night, depending on my rehearsal schedule,” she said.

Oetken says that many things go on outside of the scheduled rehearsal times.

“You have a lot to work on; costume fittings, make-up sessions, and I do a work study in the scene shop,” she said. “I’m there a lot too.”

She says that she has had to personally make a sacrifice for the production of the play.

“We can’t cut our hair or make any big changes after we’ve been cast,” Oetken said. “In this play, I wear a wig and some pretty crazy costumes, a corset in one scene. But I won’t give it away now.”

In addition to Oetken’s excited anticipation of the play’s debut, freshman Cassie Smith is also looking forward to the play, but as an audience member, not an actor.

“I’m really excited to see the play,” Smith said. “I was in theater in high school and really enjoyed it, so I have some sort of familiarity of the play world. I’m really glad we have a theater program here at Simpson. It’s a great way to showcase the true talent that we have on campus.”

Junior theater major Danille Brown serves as the stage manager for the play. This isn’t Brown’s first time behind the scenes, however. Brown’s first play was “A Christmas Carol,” and she has been involved in many other productions like this one.

Although the final product spotlights the main actors and actresses, equal preparation goes into Brown’s job.

“I have to be at every one (practice and rehearsal),” Brown said. “I put in a lot (of time). I don’t even know how many hours to guess. It’s just been a lot of time.”

“A Servant of Two Masters” opens Friday in Pote Theatre. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. This is in conjunction with the 12th annual High School Theatre Festival. Tickets are available in the Blank Performing Arts Center box office.