Twins take spotlight in farcical comedy

by Clayton Bowers, Staff Reporter

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Using slapstick humor and puns, Simpson Theatre will perform “Comedy of Errors,” one of Shakespeare’s shortest plays, and one of his more farcical comedies.

The play revolves around the lives of twin brothers – both named Antipholus – who were separated at birth. Antipholus of Syracuse, who catches wind of his twin’s existence, travels to Ephesus with his servant, Dromio, in search of his brother.

Both twins have servants, who also happen to be twins named Dromio.

Ben and Matt Rockhold play Antipholus of Syracuse and Antipholus of Ephesus. Addison Grant and Livie Gordon will play the Dromio twins.

“This play is a lot of fun for both the audience and the actors,” Ben Rockhold said. “There are a lot of obnoxious things going on throughout the whole play like people coming out of boxes and people falling over.”

To promote the play, the Rockholds, Gordon and Grant went to bookstores in Des Moines and Beaverdale to perform scenes from the play.

“It was cool to travel around and perform scenes, but it was also slightly awkward with the way everything was staged,” Matt Rockhold said. “When you’re in a bookstore, you don’t have as much space as you would on the stage, so it was a little more challenging to perform.”

Although Ben and Matt Rockhold are the main characters in this play, neither of them are theater majors.

“Being in theater while not being a theater major takes up a fairly good chunk of time,” Ben Rockhold said. “I’d say it’s pretty equal to being involved in a sport at Simpson.”

“For students interested in theater but aren’t majoring it, my advice would be to clear your schedule,” Matt Rockhold said. “It’s definitely a great experience here at Simpson, but go in prepared to spend a lot of time.”

Both Matt and Ben Rockhold did theater during high school, which led them to become involved in theater during their college careers.

“I’d say the big difference is the amount of preparation and dedication among the students,” Ben Rockhold said. “I think it’s really cool to see how seriously people take their roles.”

In addition to performing Nov. 18-20, they will also be putting on a performance during the High School Theatre Festival on Nov. 21.

Shakespeare has been known for having hard-to-understand dialogue, but this play in particular has been considered one of the easiest to follow.

“The big jokes in the play are more a part of the slapstick humor,” Ben Rockhold said. “For audiences who have seen little or no Shakespeare, they’ll still be able to enjoy and understand this play.”